Everything I Wrote in 2017

For a word-nerd who isn’t so big into numbers, I do quite enjoy taking inventory of what I’ve written and published on my blog at the end of every calendar year.

I think of it as a sort of creative audit and a process of honoring the output I manage every year, especially because I make a point to specifically not count how many words I’m writing at any time during the year.

I don’t believe in word-count goals as a healthful, helpful, sustainable measure of one’s creativity.

In fact, in my new writing course, Unavoidable Writing, I deliberately teach students to throw out word-count goals and writing timers as a way to retrain the mind away from quantifying outputs, and instead to begin to perceive the value or worth of their writing through the feeling-response of the body and emotions.

In sharing this list, I’m really just hoping to further model what I teach.

After all, leading by example — with or without followers — is the first and foremost way of sharing anything that you believe in.

With that (and if you have a lot of free reading time on your hands this week!), here’s a list of every article that I wrote and published here on my site in 2017.

May your New Year be bright, peaceful and joyous!

Everything I Wrote in 2017

Articles: 46
Words: 59,925
Compared to 2016: +48% more articles (31) and +71% more words (35,000)

46. Journalers-in-Secret, Budding Creatives and Reluctant Writers, Unite! Unavoidable Writing is a writing course at the intersection of self-knowledge and self-expression. Experience soulful personal writing, beyond stress and anxiety.

45. What Do Jean, Maryse and Vincent Have In Common? (Writing.) Jean, Maryse and Vincent were more alike than they were different. But in just briefly meeting them, you may not have noticed their similarities.

44. Unavoidable Writing: How what you’re avoiding reveals your refuge. Meet my new writing course, Unavoidable Writing, through these two previously-untold stories of how what I was resisting the most revealed my personal refuge.

43. What can you learn from what you’re avoiding? Turns out, a lot. If you struggle (as I sometimes do) to figure out what choice to make next, the place to inquire may be with what you feel like you’re avoiding the most.

42. Bored of the Stories You’re Telling? How to Tell ‘Em With More Authenticity. Boring stories, be damned. Here’s a simple exercise to tell a more personally resonant (and all around interesting) story in conversation with those around you.

41. World seeming crazy? Feeling stretched thin? How to keep perspective. No matter what news headlines said this morning, just about everyone all around you agreed to the same core set of standards and beliefs today.

40. Coming to My Peru Retreat? Still Considering It? Here’s a Writing Prompt to Get You in the Mood. As you feel and sense into the chance to join me in Peru, here’s a writing prompt you can explore along with our guests on the stories you’re living.

39. I Failed My Life’s Purpose. What I Did Next Changed Everything. Four years after quitting my job, I was at a crossroads: Would I move to a new city again? Or, would I try to make something of where I already was?

38. A prayer for personal strength (whenever you’re feeling depleted). I acknowledge my thoughts, chosen and unchosen, as much the source of my worry as the guide toward my healing, my understanding, my salvation.

37. A metta prayer for those in need of help (when you’re feeling especially helpless). Coping is the first step to making a difference, small or large. Prayer, even secular prayer, as a form of meditation and affirmation, is a powerful outlet for your voice and empathy.

36. Is this yoga and writing retreat to Peru ideal for you? Take the quiz. We’ve designed a short quiz with actual details of our retreat to help you understand if and why our upcoming retreat to Peru from Jan 27 to Feb 3, 2018 is a great fit for you – or, why it may not be.

35. Summer 2017 in Review (Plus, How to Get Involved in What I’m Writing Next). My new quarterly summaries are experimental offerings that hope to invite you and readers into the fold of my creative process, including how to get involved.

34. 8 Yoga Teachers on What They’d Do Differently (If They Started Over Today). One of the most valuable resources you have is turning to other teachers for advice. I asked 8 for what they’d do again (and what they wouldn’t) if they started over.

33. Keeping a Compliments Journal is the New Alternative to Gratitude Journaling. Want an attitude of gratitude? Gratitude journaling is a popularly recommended method, but this 1 technique makes gratitude journaling easy, fun and memorable.

32. 1 Surprising Thing You Can Do to Be More Creative Today. I do my best to give an actual, non-aspirational-bait, not-overly-simplistic “1 thing” answer to a question like how to become more creative by feeling more creative on any given day. My answer may surprise you.

31. These Are My Favorite 3 Fountain Pens for Writing (at Any Price). Fountain pens provide a sense of mindfulness, nuance and patience to the artistic experience of writing, in the otherwise hurried age of modern convenience.

30. Here Are My Top 3 Favorite Journals (That I Can’t Stop Writing In). When I began to turn my personal journaling practice into an outlet of creative and artful embodiment, things changed: the words I wrote started to feel more artful, and the experience of writing began to feel more professional.

29. I Want to Help People. Where Do I Begin? So, you want to help people. But what do you have to offer others? Consider teaching what you’ve already learned, yourself. You’re a natural teacher of what you know.

28. How Does Writing Change How I Feel? What Leading Research Says. These several modern research studies indicate that expressive writing can alleviate stress, build self-confidence, and maybe even boost your immune system.

27. 3 Unconventional Ways to Get Yourself Writing Again This Week. Get yourself writing again by changing how you source your creativity. Incorporate these 3 tricks into your everyday life to help yourself write this week.

26. Escape Your Echo Chamber (Or, Let’s Agree to Disagree, Part 2). In 1969, Christmas in Cuba was canceled for what seemed like the most noble of reasons. The entire country was unified in a single-minded patriotic effort. But the Zafra left the island nation’s economy in shambles for decades.

25. 4 Years After Her Sister Wrote Her First Book, My 9-Year-Old Cousin Started Her Own Book Publishing Company. Four years ago, I thought it was a big deal with her older sister was writing her own book. Not to be outdone, Kendal started her own book publishing company.

24. You Can’t Care About Everything. Care for what you care for the most. Trust that others will do their part to care about what they care about, so you don’t have to.

23. Why Retreat? To Make Transformation Real. Retreat to the Sacred Valley of Peru from Jan 27 – Feb 3, 2018 for daily yoga, cultural immersion, mindfulness, and understanding the heart of the story of your life.

22. Retreat to Peru in 2018: Personal Myth, Mindfulness, Visit Machu Picchu. Get out of your comfort zone. See a miraculous corner of the earth. Get to know some lovely people. Eat well. Move more. Breathe deeply. Join me in Peru in 2018.

21. I Want You to Read These 589 Pages This Summer. To celebrate my 8 year anniversary as a writer, I’m releasing a new  Second Editions book package (exclusive to my newsletter subscribers) of all six of my self-published books, for 50% off.

20. What Are My Values? 35 Common Examples from Yogis, Creatives, Writers. Values are our underlying soul code: how we understand what matters in life, and why. Identifying even just a few helps you consciously guide your actions and words.

19. 7 Writing Prompts for Mindfulness (That You Can Journal in 7 Minutes or Less). These 7 simple writing prompts help you slow down into a state of presence with topics that are actually meaningful and self-informing.

18. These 2 Verbal Cues May Reveal a Subconscious Shame Script. These 2 scripts may reveal a sense of shame or insecurity that you’re unintentionally communicating to people, every day.

17. Let’s Agree to Disagree. A school teacher and lifelong military veteran are locked in an epic email debate. It has lasted for months. And neither is backing down. So, why do they keep responding?

16. The Case Against Walls. WALLS by Marcello Di Cintio is an award-winning book about the people who live beside notorious walls meant to divide. An interview with the author.

15. 6 Thought-Provoking Books I’ve Been Loving Lately. So many books to choose from. Where do you begin? These are the 6 most thought-provoking books that I’ve come across lately, and why I’ve loved reading them.

14. Exceptions to My Easy-Big Rule. Turning an adage or idea into “the one and only way” only serves to narrow our viewpoints to a single pointed edge. Today, I’m breaking my own rule.

13. The Easy-Big Rule (Or, Why Big Change Must Begin Small). In which I offer to invest in a Thigh-Master and Buns of Steel on VHS if you think it will get me on the cover of GQ by summertime (hint: it won’t).

12. What is the Individual’s Role in Resisting the Government? Thoreau’s Answer. In his 1849 essay Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau describes the conditions for the individual to resist the state. Read the full text here.

11. Story Shine Profile: This Spanish Expat’s Story ‘Translated’ Her Career Anew. Even though her young career had started in finance, accounting and law, Masé’s new story helped her change her direction and land a new job as a translator.

10. #TryPod: My Top 9 Podcasts Lately (And, Why I Love Them). For someone who once said he didn’t want to “bother” listening to podcasts, I’ve started regularly listening to about 20 of them over the last year. Here’s my top nine.

9. Why Is It So Tough to Tell My Own Story? And, How to Do It Anyway. When you start digging into the heart of your story, some very human stuff comes up. Shadows. Shame scripts. Guilt. Feelings of vulnerability.

8. How Do You Journal? Is there a right way to journal? I asked 6 friends to share their personal uses of journaling. Here’s how they support their inner wellness with paper and pen.

7. Use Reverse Intention-Setting to Set Your New Year on the Right Track. Spend just 1-2 minutes on each of these 10 journaling prompts to “reverse intention-set” your New Year beyond those short-lived New Year’s Resolutions.

6. Where Is Home? Mohammad’s Story. It’s 8 days after the Muslim immigration ban took effect. Mohammad is stuck in Tehran. I can hear his young daughter crying faintly in the background.

5. How to Write Your New Bio (in 4 Simple Steps). This free mini guide gives you a thorough, easy formula to follow (plus scripts and examples) for writing yourself a new professional bio in 100 words or less.

4. How to Travel More Affordably (A Miniature Guide + Sample Itineraries). In travel, you see the world – and find yourself. Thankfully, visiting a new corner of the world has never been easier or more affordable.

3. Patria or Death: Chronicles of an American in Cuba. What was it like to visit Cuba as a solo traveler? And, an American tourist? And, to see one of the world’s last remaining Communist countries? I’m glad you asked.

2. Havana is Cuba (A Photo-Essay). Dilapidated facades. Bursts of color. Oceanic promise. Emblems of old America. The historic capital city of Havana, Cuba, emerges before my eyes. A photo-essay, featuring bonus audio of Havana by night.

1. On the Path to Wholeness Within, Opportunities Abound. Take Them. The lessons that our souls are here to learn in this lifetime don’t happen once. They repeat. Which means that you are never lost from chances to thrive.

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