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Blog Therapy

June 15, 2010

Kelsey Brown
Blog Therapy

If you have a desk job, Google Reader is a godsend.  There is basically no limit to what can be found on the web.  The infinite amount of information living out in cyberspace yields many interesting and creative blogs, so what could be more appreciated than some good blog reads during this season of summer internships?  I'm here to provide you with a road map to some other gems for you to check out on the web (when your boss isn't looking).

When deciding which of my favorite blogs to share, it was a difficult choice. Narrowing down my favorite blogs was like trying to narrow down my favorite foods. I really love homemade sausage pizza, but what is life without barbecue, pesto pasta, and frozen custard with hot fudge? Some things just shouldn't be narrowed down. So I won't. Looking through my Google Reader, I divided my collection of blogs into different categories, and I will share them all with you at some point this summer. I'm going to start it out with the category that I follow most. I'm still not quite sure what to call it without being corny (re: "Simple Solutions To Self-Improvement"). But because it must have a name, this post's theme will be "Blogs About Humanity & Introspection." Happy?

You know those days when life just won't cut you a break?  Writer/director Leah Dieterich provides the cure for those days with her blog THXTHXTHX.

"Leah Dieterich's mother always told her to write thank you notes. So she does. To everything. thxthxthx is her daily exercise in gratitude."

Reading Dieterich's daily notes provides me with instant gratitude towards the small facets of my life. That coworker that is printing 200 pages when I only need to print two? Thank you for reminding me that my time isn't more important than everyone else's. I'll go work on something else in the meantime.

Some of my favorites are when Leah says thanks to: her meeting, crazy books, you, air, Facebook, ballpoint pens, and "I am."

I'm not very original with this one, but it's still one of my favorites. For those of you that aren't familiar, PostSecret was started by Frank Warren in 2005 as an experiment with Blogger. Today, people from all over the world send their secrets to Warren's home in Germantown, MD. Each Sunday a selection of the post cards are posted on his blog, while others are saved for published compilations. The secrets are a total mixed bag, ranging from criminal confessions, sexual impropriety, and embarrassing quirks to hopes and dreams.

He only posts on Sundays, providing something to look forward to at work on Monday morning. The only drawback is that Warren doesn't give access to the archives, so you can only see one week's worth of secrets (thank God for Google Reader with an RSS feed!).  Don't worry though, if one week doesn't quite fill you up, many people out there have taken it upon themselves to create PostSecret archives that are easily accessed through a quick Google search. Warren currently travels around the country speaking to different colleges and universities. Anyone else in favor of a visit to CMC?

Rainn Wilson's brainchild, Soul Pancake,  serves as "a place to speak your mind, unload your questions, and figure out what it means to be human." Honestly, who knew Dwight Schrute was so spiritual?

Soul Pancake promotes soul-searching in all of its forms, whether it be with thought-provoking questions or an inspirational exercise. The site has a team of people that post to several categories, including "Life's Big Questions," "Creative Challenges," "Life's Little Lists," and "Explorations." There is also a section called the "Question Collective" that is open for anyone to post anything. A cool thing about this site is that each page has different background images, and they're all pretty hilarious.

Why did Wilson decide to start this site? "I am sick of spirituality being airy-fairy, hippy-dippy, and precious. I want to have a debate about life's big questions and de-lamify talking about God and religion. Soul Pancake is where spirituality and creativity meet." While the origin of Soul Pancake was to discuss religion and faith, it has grown to a very wide scope of life ruminations. Some of my favorites are:

I just started following this one, so I can't be quite as anecdotal about it, but I think it is definitely worth sharing. Positivity Blog was created in 2006 by Henrik Edberg, a Swedish man who explores the topic of personal development. In his own words, "The Positivity Blog is focused on positivity and opening up new possibilities for happiness and awesomeness through motivating and practical articles on how to improve your life." 

This blog is less philosophic and more pragmatic, each post serving more as a guide to bettering certain aspects of your life. Some posts that I have enjoyed are:

Last, but certainly not least, I share with you This I Believe. I don't think this can technically be considered a blog, but it falls into the "Humanity and Introspection" category, and can steal your time just as easily. This I Believe, Inc. is a non-profit organization inspired by a 1950s radio program of the same name that featured essays by people such as "Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived." Today, tens of thousands of essays have been submitted and are all available to read online. This I Believe has also published two books of featured essays, which is how I became familiar with the series.The essays are short, so you don't feel bogged down by lengthy text hiding the great message. This I Believe is a challenge not only to see and respect views other than our own, but to figure out what our own beliefs are. Hands down, if you check out any of the sites that I have written about, it should be this one. A great part of the growth that I have made in the last few years of my life has been inspired by what I have read in This I Believe. When I feel like I can't find solid ground to stand on, I return to This I Believe every time. These are some of my favorites:

If you have any blog suggestions for next time, no matter which category they fall into, share them here!

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