Hurrays and Thankyous: The End of the River… or is it?

Hurray for the River! For the past 31 days you have been paying attention to something every day and writing it down. Even if you only wrote one small stone there is a teensy bit more mindfulness in the world. This is a good thing.

We’d love to go out with a big SPLASH and have a record number of comments on our ‘put your small stone here‘ post today. If you’ve been writing all year or if you’ve never written one before, find out about small stones and then add yours here. As well as leaving your small stone, tell us how you got on during the month – what was it like? Feel free to add your blog address too so people can keep in touch.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s participated in this year’s River. We’ve so enjoyed reading all your small stones, and hearing from people who’ve found some benefit in the practice. With your help we’ve spread the small stone habit to a whole new swathe of people around the world.

A special thank you to Amy from Half-Assed Mama, who put together the River blogroll for us this year. _/\_

A very grateful thank you to all our marvellous guest bloggers, who you can see below. The whole series is here.

If you’d like to know how to submit your small stones to this year’s small stone anthology, do join our River mailing list.

You can also stay in touch by visiting us here, taking one of our ecourses (Writing Ourselves Alive & Eastern Therapeutic Writing are starting very soon), or joining our free community for people who want to connect with the world through writing. We’ll leave the blogroll up until the end of the week.

Either way, we hope you might write a small stone or two before next January when, of course, The River will be even bigger!

*

Jan 2nd: 10 Ways To Fly Beyond Creative Dream Frustrations & Fears by Goddess Leonie
Jan 3rd: Reasons for writing by David Brazier

Phew!

Photo by lostinpixels via Creative Commons, with gratitude.

Comments & replies

41 thoughts on “Hurrays and Thankyous: The End of the River… or is it?

  1. Helen Lewis

    Fiona and Kaspa, thank you so much for your inspiration and encouragement, and for all the hard work that I’m sure you must have to do behind the scenes in order to organise an event like this.

    I’ve had a lot of fun taking part for the first time, and I’ve got a tremendous amount out of the experience, both in terms of increased mindfulness and in terms of flexing my atrophied creative writing muscles.

    Thanks to my fellow participants for their inspiring writing. There have been some very precious small stones written this month!

  2. Lesley

    I’d like to echo what Helen has said in her comment. I’m another first timer and would like to thank you for the opportunity to participate. As well as making me stop and take notice of my surroundings, writing small stones has also helped me focus more on other writing projects. As a result, I have had a very productive month.

    I too would like to thank all the small stone writers for opening their blogs to everyone – it has been fascinating reading them.

  3. Roz Cawley

    This has been just a wonderful experience – I can’t do better than to echo the previous comments in my thanks to you, Fiona and Kaspa, for the effort you have clearly invested in encouraging us and gathering all the MOST interesting guest posts together. I’ve downloaded the Blogroll (thank you for this!) so that I can browse though many more of the posts at leisure and am finalising my own programme for this year (writing courses here at Autumn Cottage) with renewed vigour and belief in the power of writing for wellbeing and human flourishing – sentiments you have reignited with the invitation to do this small but powerful thing each day.
    Thank you ALL so much! xxx

  4. Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn

    Yes, I’d like to say ditto, ditto, ditto to everything that’s been said above.

    This is the first time I’ve taken part in small stones as well and I’ve loved it, although it’s been a lot more challenging than I expected. I missed two days and was surprised how upset I felt.

    Thanks to Fiona and Kaspa who provide such wonderful ideas and inspiration, and to everyone else who’s taken part. It’s been great!

  5. Freya Pickard

    snow whispers on the beech leaves, making brittle sounds on their brown, dead surfaces

    Sorry Fiona & Kaspa I’ve only just realised I was meant to leave my stones here each day – how totally thick can you get? Blame on it too much to do. Which is why joining the River was such an excellent thing to do again. I started writing small stones this time last year in the River and it made me stop and notice small things. But this year, not only have I noticed small things but huge things too, like the time I drove onto the main road and realised I was on the line between dawn and night… Awesome. I’ve also met some amazing people again and been inspired (I was looking in the blog list not this bit – sorry!) by some beautiful pieces of writing.

    So, thank you once again and next time I promise to read EVERYTHING very carefully…

    http://dragonscaleleggings.blogspot.com/

  6. Jean

    I’m so glad I joined the river again this January.

    The specific challenge and the company of others makes a big difference.

    The main joy of this is doing it, not judging the results. But reading back over this January’s small stones, I think I’m that bit more present and ‘spot on’ than I was a year ago and this is a good feeling.

    One day, if I carry on for years, I might ‘get it’. I probably won’t. We in the West are so blocked from simplicity, so mired in distance and contrivance. But it’s so important to try.

    Thank you! This is such a great continuing initiative.

  7. Sophie

    The ice has appeared. A thick crust in a metal bucket left outside. The day smells clean and blue and bites at my teeth. Mist obscures the hills, and all is soft.

  8. nan

    Thank you, Fiona and Kaspa, and all the small-stoners out there in the world. The daily write was sheer joy this January! I am not sure why I manage to find the discipline to write a small stone a day when challenged during a January or July! I do find I pay attention and live each day more fully when I am mindful of having to write one thing down . . . and I shall try to continue it (although my track record between challenges is pitiful).

    I plan to stay in touch. Thanks for the special community here. My small stones blog is http://tinyriversplash.blogspot.com and I write some other things over at http://jadepagepress.blogspot.com.

    Be well and best wishes!

  9. Rosalind Adam

    My first time. My first river. Thank you so much for encouraging me to complete this challenge. I couldn’t have done it without the Twitter mentions to keep me on task.

    I’ve just poured my entire river onto a page on my blog. 🙂

    http://rosalindadam.blogspot.com

  10. ceceliafutch

    I did not post here, but I posted my “stones” at my blog. It was a great experience and I am so glad I took part. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging those of us who participated. I had fun. Thank you.

    Check out my stones at
    http://ceceliafutch.wordpress.com

    Click on River of Stones in the menu and you can read all my stones.

  11. Duff

    It’s time to observe inwardly today.
    Each January day has included a time for seeing
    something different in my world.
    Today, the search centers: how have I changed?

    Assembling all the small stones, I find in
    the January 9th stone: “reflections do matter”.
    Yes, I have been in the river
    all of this observant and reflective month.

    Thanks, Fiona and Kaspa.
    As with so many others, I have posted all of my stones to my blog: http://duffaxsom.blogspot.com/

  12. Woodland Rose

    Thank you Fiona and Kaspa for your graciousness. Joining in the “river of stones” turned out to be a real pleasure and a lovely way to practice a little bit of presence. I’ve met quite a few wonderful fellow writers with whom I will continue to share words and spirit. The river continues its flow. Till the next we meet – enjoy, Andrea Grillo

  13. Mel Horrod

    “I look at my nails and notice they are long now. When did that happen? They’ve obviously been quietly growing away unhindered by my little, worried tearings…. I wonder why I haven’t had enough stress in my life this month to make me bite my nails.”

    Thank you Fiona and Kaspa for this wonderful experience. I am on number twenty myself due to a late start and a few missed days but I’m not beating myself up, I’m continuing on until 31…. maybe more too, who knows.

  14. Robin

    Thank you, Fiona and Kaspa. This has been a different experience for me (way outside of my comfort zone). It’s been challenging and fun. 🙂

  15. Belinda @ Wild Acre

    Thank you so much for this encouragement and opportunity to walk a bit slower and breathe a little deeper this January. It as been harder than I thought it would be, but also more enlightening. I will keep my eyes open and write more stones I hope! Belinda x

  16. Anne Stormont (@writeanne)

    Fiona, Kaspa and,of course, Amy, thank you for providing the source spring for the river. I enjoyed it last year and even more so this year. I have enjoyed the ‘timeouts’ that preparing each stone has given me. I’ve also found it great for getting me to my desk and ready to write in a more extended way.

    I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s stones as well – especially those of Helen Lewis and Rosalind Adam.

    Thanks again and all the best.

  17. S.E. Ingraham

    Thanks so much Fiona and Kaspa – this was my third dip in the river and I must say, I really look forward to and enjoy the experience … thanks for your encouragement always and for the interesting guest interviews provided. You do good work here on this site and the ripples extend farther than you might think … my stones can be found here:
    http://smallstonesforwintersriver.blogspot.com/

  18. Cathy

    Thank you, Fiona and Kaspa, for 31 wonderful and eye-opening days! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s small stones almost as much as writing my own. Such a lot of variety and creativity!

  19. Kris

    I’ve been writing the nature haiku I usually write, but with more faithfulness, close to daily . . . and so much enjoyed being part of the “river” on Twitter.
    I regret not dropping by the blog more often, so I’m glad I’m doing it today.

    Winter evening
    I find one more wildflower
    in our weedy lawn

    Somehow this small stone, the last thing I noticed before coming in this evening, seems particularly fitting.

    Thank you, Fiona and Kaspa!

  20. Anonymous

    Thanks so much for this wonderful experience! So glad a friend invited me to dip in the river this January. The month flew by; I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise, and hope to continue the practice.

    All of my river stones were posted in my River Stones facebook photo album — but, hopefully, this will be the year I create a blog of my own.

    Thanks again! 🙂
    PSC

  21. Anne Weizel

    I remember in one of your newsletters, you said you often felt inadequate. I thought, surely then you must not realize the extent of increased joy you and Caspar have brought to the world. The more joy we feel, the more joy, it creates for those around us. A huge ripple effect.
    Your site was the key to finally unleash all the stories I wrote in my head for years, but was too afraid to write anything down, for fear of being judged. I feel like, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, when she says, “you mean all I had to do was click my heels three times, and say, there’s no place like home.”
    I couldn’t imagine EVER writing a poem in my lifetime, and now I’ve written 31 in 31 days, and even my husband who has been a journalist for 30 years is impressed.
    Also this is the first thing I’ve done for myself since my son was born 15 years ago. My life before the stones was becoming just a series of endless chores! Thank You, Thank You

  22. Tiny

    Dear Fiona and Kaspa,

    I think even though I couldn’t write stones on my blog everyday I did end up writing a lot of other stuff because I was paying attention to every little thing inside me. Small stones, ever since I found them, have been such a blessing to my writing, and to the way I’ve started seeing things. I no longer walk around oblivious to what is happening around me. I notice things because I’m always looking for a stone along the way, one that I may or may not write down. Writing every day was hard, and when it became too hard I didn’t want to force it but the times I did write something down, I felt a huge sense of achievement. Thank you so much again and I hope the next time I take part I’ll be able to write a lot more.

  23. Kopper

    Thank you everyone! I received the River of Stones as a challenge from a friend. My daughter gave me a tiny notebook as a holiday gift to remind me to get started. My small stones didn’t always get into the notebook, or onto the comments thread here, but they are all at my blog:

    http://kopper.dreamwidth.org/

    I will keep on noticing and writing every day as a way to centre my life and keep in balance.

  24. Maggie - Yarnsongyoga

    I echo all the thanks from co-smallstone writers.
    I now have a small book for my stones and will keep writing them, perhaps not every day, but regularly.
    This particular mindful practice has helped me appreciate the small things around me during winter, a time of year that I don’t always enjoy.
    I look forward to keeping in touch.

  25. Josephine Faith Gibbs

    I missed more days of writing small stones this January than last. The good thing about that is it means the practice has become just that, a daily practice that is part of my life. There is nothing that truly is an ongoing part of my life that gets done every-single-day. With permission to miss occasionally the practice is sustainable and deeply enriching. Heartfelt thanks to Fiona and Kaspa and to everyone else who has supported and participated!

  26. Barb

    Thank you Fiona & Kaspa for your guidance and encouragement during the month of January. Pausing, observing, and writing have started to become a habit for me – a practice. I find relief and respite as I stop to take notice.

  27. Snowbourne

    Thank you Fiona & Kaspa for creating The River. It is an endless source of inspiration. Also, thank you to everyone who participated because your creative energy spreads outward reaching so many people besides those who post here. Well done!

  28. Shanee

    Thank you so much, Fiona and Kaspa, for your generosity and creativity, and so much more I’m sure, in creating/providing the river of stones. I have managed to start a blog, and post about 29 small stones I think. I have enjoyed connecting with other ‘small stoners’ too and reading so many inspiring pieces. I love the practice and will definitely continue. Thanks again.
    Shanee

    http://www.throwmetothesky.wordpress.com

  29. francesca perry

    This was a first for me too – the whole experience was like a precious and unexpected gift. I didn’t get to do every day, but I did think about it every day and I’m still thinking about it now. The river continues to flow! Thank you both so much.

  30. DazyDayWriter

    Thanks for the great spiritual journey … enjoyed being here and will look forward to staying in touch! Blessings. –Daisy @ SunnyRoomStudio

  31. Polly

    Big thank you to Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn who introduced me to small stones and Writing Our Way Home – great site – thanks to Fiona and Kaspa

  32. Fiona Robyn

    Well. I just sat down with my spicy chai to read all these and you’ve all made me cry. So happy to hear about the River’s influence. Deep bow. Keep writing.

  33. lucidgypsy

    Thank you so much, I’ve had an amazing time writing my small stones! I am so pleased with myself for completing then every day without fail and even though I might not have always been very good I’ve proved to myself that I can stick to things. It’s also helped my best friend to get started on writing some real gems that she has locked away all her life.
    I’ll be back next year and probably before. http://www.lucidgypsy.wordpress.com

  34. Soccer Coaching Tips

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