Christine over at Stine Writing invited me to be part of her blog hop, Simply Six Minutes, where we set a timer for six minutes and write, then post it. Sounds like my kind of thing, so my six minutes starts….NOW!
Mary and I were passing through downtown Chicago on our way to the Northwestern train to get me out to my folks’ house on Memorial Day, 1981. As we rode past the Sears Tower, Mary said “Is that a man climbing up the Sears Tower (at the time, the tallest building in the world at 1,450 feet/442 meters)?” I was skeptical, but a newscast later confirmed that there was a man named Dan Goodwin who was indeed climbing the Sears Tower. He had witnessed the MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas and saw where the Clark County Fire Department couldn’t save the lives of some of the people…
Welcome to the book tour for The Best of No Small Thing with its accompanying gratitude workbook, Practice Gratitude. This unique collection of blog posts is by author, Deborah Hawkins!
Read on for details and a chance to win a set of books!
The Best of No Small Thing
Publication Date: December 2019
Genre: Collection of Blog Posts/ Non-Fiction
No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations (NoSmallThing.net) was launched in 2010 with the intention of reflecting on experiences that generated feelings of gratitude in order to create a positive mood and orientation to life. As of fall of 2019, over 500 reflections (mindful meditations) have been published along with over 100 tips that can be employed in a gratitude practice.
This mindfulness process is detailed in a companion book, Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life. It emphasizes the creation of personal gratitude themes, one’s Grateful Dozen, which can help a person see things that spark grateful feelings in new situations. This is a collection of favorite blog posts that came out of this process.
For several decades, studies have supported the idea that gratitude has many positive benefits. It boosts optimism, a sense of personal control, and even enhances relationships. Keeping a simple gratitude journal, where daily entries are made identifying things that spark gratitude, has become a very popular. Deborah Hawkins, originator of NoSmallThing.net, goes beyond listing little boons to generate good feelings. In this book, she teaches techniques for mindfulness, self-inquiry, and writing to build memories that activate strong positive emotions. This guide and workbook helps readers understand what kinds of personal experiences prompt uplifting feelings of gratitude in them, develop broad themes that apply to these experiences, and then use these themes to see and experience gratitude in new situations. This approach can empower anyone to begin each new day with confidence that things they love and value are already present. A companion book, Best of No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations provides examples of posts that were written using this process.
Since I started writing down my mindful meditations, I have tried to pay extra attention to things that affect me, things that change my mood or outlook, or simply things that I’m grateful for. Keeping an eye out for these kinds of things has brought up memories of my father and some paradoxical advice he tried to impart.
My father died when he was sixty-two. I was in my midtwenties and going through a divorce. He was not around often when I was growing up as he worked very long hours, but his presence was oh so constant. We didn’t go to many ballgames together or to the park. He didn’t teach me how to drive or mentor me in some important life skills, but I knew he loved me very much.
Starting when I was about thirteen, he used to pull me under his arm and repeat an odd phrase. “Don’t worry about the little
things. It’s the big things that are important.” Then he’d add, as if confiding something more profound to me, “Don’t worry about the big things. It’s the little things that are important.”
Returning to her hometown in 2008, after nearly one year spent, unsuccessfully, trying to create a new career in a new town, Deborah Hawkins found herself fighting depression and struggling to maintain solvency. In her early fifties, looking for financial help from her family was especially hard. A car accident, caused by an uninsured driver, kept her off her feet for months. She felt cursed.
She began blogging on gratitude in 2010 as a way to focus on positives and elevate her mood. Inspired by Eckhart Tolle’s words, “Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance,” she developed a mindfulness orientation for her own gratitude practice. This practice led her to post weekly over the last decade; around 500 posts.
Beyond traditional gratitude journals and lists, Deborah’s approach focuses on understanding things that sparked gratitude in past experiences and using this understanding to identify similar qualities in new situations. She attributes her gratitude practice with bringing a sense of empowerment and contentment to her life.
She plans to make her process available as a tele-seminar in the near future. Deborah has a BA from Knox College and lives in Chicago.
“You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.” I have no idea who said this, but it reminded me of the song ‘Liberty’ that Jerry Garcia used to play. Walt Whitman once said, “We must all be foolish at times, it is one of the conditions of liberty.” You can take the easy route and live your life by sticking to your daily routine being afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. But if you want to enjoy your life and be happy, you should take some risks, which will allow you to achieve extraordinary results. Birds should not be walking, because they were made to fly.
Saw a bird with a tear in his eye
Walking to New Orleans my oh my
Hey, now, Bird, wouldn’t you rather die Than walk this world when you’re born to…
This is a completed, fully assembled miniature dollhouse. It has two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and bathroom, all with working lights. The basic furnishings and cabinets are glued down however all of the items included have not been secured yet. As the buyer you can opt for me to set up the apartment and glue everything in place or keep it like it is, with all of the same accessories included. (If you want everything glued, payment must be made prior to glueing).
As a science journalist, Jade has seen more than her fair share of peculiar oddities—none weirder than her socially inept fellow reporter Antigone. When the test of a teleporter using an electron collider goes awry, the two women find their world changed in subtle ways, with anomalies breaking out in their personal lives. Their increasingly unstable dimension gives Jadethe ability to shapeshift while Antigone can see portals into other worlds.
A fellow journalist who attended the experiment is trapped in another dimension and Jade and Antigone hold the key to saving him. Of course, their task is not just a simple rescue mission. Realizing they will continue to drift into increasingly stranger worlds until they straighten out the paradox, the women reluctantly agree to travel through the multiverse in search of a solution.
You may use any part or the entire quote. If you have a different quote you would like to use, go right ahead. This is for fun, a sort of personal challenge. Enjoy and thank you for participating!
*****For any participants that do NOT like restrictions, please feel free to participate in any way you would like. It is great to read the contributions!****
Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.
*Feel free to leave your work completely unedited. I believe it is good to see, especially for new writers, that even very seasoned writers don’t write a perfect first draft.*
Have fun, challenge yourself if you’d like, read and respond to others’ posts.
Is cereal soup? Why or why not? Cereal is not soup because it never becomes a new thing when you pour the milk in, it is still cereal with milk. On the other hand, when you put broth, chicken, veggies, and spices together it makes soup. You wouldn’t really say “I’m going to have some chicken and veggies with some broth”.
What are some interesting ways to answer everyday questions like “how’s it going” or “what do you do”?How’s it going?: How is what going? What do you do?: When?
What was your favorite toy growing up? My favorite toy growing up was my Holly Hobby Treehouse and my Little People House. The tree house was a cardboard sort of gazebo that all the sides came down to have different “areas”. There was the picnic area where you could put all the little foods. Then there was the swing area that actually had a swing attached. My Little People House was awesome and I guess I would include the other buildings I had, like the castle. I loved that there were trap doors and secret hiding spots.
If you have a pet, and you could ask it three questions, what would you ask? I would ask my dog – 1. Don’t you get tired of laying around all day doing nothing? 2. Is that kibble really tasty and do the different “flavors” really taste different? 3. Does the slime out in the dirty water bowl outside that has filled with rainwater add to the taste of the water, since you would rather drink that than clean water from the tap. I would ask my guinea pigs – 1. If you had a choice how long would you let your teeth get? 2. Does it gross you out a little to know that your teeth grow? 3. Do you see me as an evil giant even though you know me and I feed you or do you recognize me and just run away for the fun of it?
Attitude of Gratitude Section (Always Optional)
What’s one simple thing society at large could do to improve our world? Accept everyone despite their differences.