Category Archives: Brene’ Brown

Something Good

pumpkinSo great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. The homeless man who turned his life around by offering book reviews instead of begging. “You don’t have to be rich to save the world,” Philani Dladla, The Pavement Bookworm. The foundation he started is really cool.

2. Students protesting Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home”: How clinging to “Christian moral beliefs” can end an education before it even begins on Salon. “Liking is not learning, of course — and learning is not always comfortable.” And in related news, Alison Bechdel Would Like You to Call It the “Bechdel-Wallace Test,” ThankYouVeryMuch.

3. A Question of Prosperity from Meghan Genge in which she considers what it means to feel prosperous.

4. Open Letter to Native College Students.

5. It’s Not Just ODU Students Putting Up Offensive Signs About Freshman Girls. Not something good so much as something you should know about. I wonder what the parents of these young men think about this? What do their mothers think?

6. Why America Needs a Slavery Museum. I’m still surprised there is currently only one.

7. Modern ‘train-nomad’ chooses to live on trains instead of renting. In related news, I secretly lived in my office for 500 days.

8. Hurricane Katrina happened ten years ago. It’s just as devastating ten years out. These Are The Forgotten Images Of Hurricane Katrina, and The 85 Most Powerful Hurricane Katrina Images, and This American Life 565: Lower 9 + 10, and 10 Years After Katrina.

9. 10 Successful Entrepreneurs on the Worst Advice They Ever Received.

10. 100 Cameras Were Given To Homeless In London And The Result Left Everyone Speechless.

11. 30 Reasons Why I Write by Jon Westenberg. Things like, “There’s no despair that can’t be held at bay with words,” and “My writing is my own roadmap – it helps me find my way.”

12. why dinner was late last night from SouleMama. It’s a beautiful reason.

13. I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago.

14. The Greatest Commencement Addresses of All Time on Brain Pickings. I know it’s not the right season for this as most students are just going back to school not graduating, but if you want some serious inspiration this is the place.

15. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

If you want to know real freedom, you must learn forgiveness. That doesn’t mean collapsing boundaries or giving up or giving in. It doesn’t mean going back. It doesn’t mean absolution or sweeping things under the rug. It means you let go of grasping–and that which has a grip on you. It means reclaiming your own inner sanctuary and ushering out what’s crowding your space. Let go of the need to be right, to be in control, to be understood, to be certain. Let go of what has distracted you from the grace of each moment–your birthright, your presence.

16. No, I Am Not Crowdfunding This Baby (an open letter to a worried fan) by Amanda Palmer, a beautiful contemplation of the tenderness and terror of being a mother and an artist.

17. Boy, 13, Keeps Father Alive After He’s Badly Hurt by Falling Boulder. May we all have someone like this to help when we need it.

18. Brave Girl University is open for enrollment. It is “a one-stop gathering place for learning, growing and becoming, through hundreds of classes taught by dedicated teachers who offer soulful ways to make life better, happier and more authentic for every woman. From painting to gardening to meditation to relationships and much more. . . access it ALL for just $24.95 per month.” I’ve taken classes with many of these teachers, and am amazed by what a good deal this is.

19. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: What If I’m Not Happy With My Weight, and George Takei and Why I Can’t Take a Joke, and Telling Truth to Power.

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

If something isn’t getting you closer to your heart’s most precious goals, if it isn’t making your most important relationships stronger and more valued, if it is not helping you grow and making your heart sing, maybe it’s time to think about letting it go.

If you will listen very very very closely, you will know for sure what to hold on to…and what to let go…and where to spend your precious minutes and energies.

And this,

You know SO much more than you think you know. Each of us was born with a lovely inner compass…it’s there to guide us. We must tune out almost every voice around us to be able to focus on what this inner voice tells us is true for our own lives.

Please don’t give any heed at all to the useless opinions of others, beautiful friend. Act for yourself. Face your own truths…then act on your own truths. Plug your ears when there are annoying, loud, negative voices that have no business giving you opinions about your own life. Turn off the confusing lies, and be brave enough to tune in to that inner voice that speaks your truth. Those feelings in your gut are your deepest wisdom, and you will recognize the voice of truth by the warm and peaceful feelings it brings.

21. 7 Simple Ways to Soothe Your Soul from Be More With Less. “Sometimes your soul needs time to just hang out with your heart, and your truth.”

22. I Had a Baby and Cancer When I Worked at Amazon. This Is My Story.

23. The Monk Manifesto: Seven Principles for Living with Deep Intention. I had never heard of this before Erica Staab posted about it on her blog. It is “a public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.” I think if one were to live according to this manifesto, they would be ridiculously happy, completely content. Or maybe that’s just me.

24. 85 Percent of What We Worry About Never Happens. I heard once that “worrying is like praying for what we don’t want to happen.” This article gives yet another reason why worry is wasted.

25. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s newsletter: I’ve Spent A Lifetime Building a Mighty Network. Here Are My Secrets., and Marshall McLuhan on writing, and The Steal Like An Artist Journal (I want).

26. Sarah Silverman just life-coached everyone who’s felt undeserving. Such a cool perspective. (video)

27. Write Anyway: October, a workshop with Janelle Hanchett. Sometime I really want to do one of these.

28. Good stuff Alexandra Franzen shared in her newsletter: The “Grocery List” Method To Writing Your Bio. (So Easy. For Real.), and Ask Alex & Ellen: I got rejected and now I want to give up. How can I get motivated again?, and What Does The World Need More Of In Order To Heal?, and a podcast interview Alexandra Franzen on Changing with Grace and How To Be More Intentional With Your Time.

29. Shared on Positively Present Picks: Living Your Dreams Will Piss People Off. Do It Anyway., and this quote from Oprah Winfrey, “I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.”

30. Good stuff from Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: The unconscious quality of judgment. And Mötley Crüe, and Annapurna Woman Susannah Conway, (this whole interview series is really great), The Pep Talk Generator, and Things That Will Happen If I Don’t Take My Phone Out Right Now, and Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Lisa Congdon on Passion Projects.

31. Wisdom from Aimée Reed, by way of The Pep Talk Generator mentioned above,

“Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing” — Cormac McCarthy. We all have to do things we don’t like in pursuit of our goals and dreams. However, if you are doing something that doesn’t directly correlate to you achieving them, then stop. Immediately. In reality, we have but a minute on this earth. Work, live, take chances, love, eat, argue, make mistakes, fight, and screw like you have 30 seconds left on the stopwatch.

32. Where Children Sleep, a photo series from James Mollison, “stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms.”

33. When Doing Yoga by Yourself from Bad Yogi.

34. 8 Things I Learned from 10 Months Unplugged on Elephant Journal.

35. Veruca Salt has a new album coming out.

36. Fundraising page for one of my favorite bears who’ll be doing the Out of the Darkness Walk, raising money for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

37. Brene Brown on embracing failure, setting boundaries and living through grief: “It is an act of compassion to love yourself.”

38. 4 Questions that Will Change Your Attitude (When You Can’t Change Anything Else) from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

39. On The Subject Of Your Discouragement on Terrible Minds.

40. Viral Photo Of Syrian Refugee Prompts Strangers To Give Him ‘A New Life.’

Something Good


So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Wisdom from Paul Jarvis, from his Sunday Dispatch Apples to Elephants, “Everyone’s life is filled with fuck-ups, mistakes, disasters but also amazing beauty.”

2. Choosing to stop your addiction on The Washington Post.

But, in fact, addicts can and do stop. And according to Marc Lewis in “The Biology of Desire,” this reveals a basic problem with the medicalization of addiction. “People choose to stop when they have suffered more than enough,” he writes. “And when circumstances lend a hand. And when the possibility of self control becomes as attractive — more attractive — than any other possibility, including temporary relief.”

3. The Many Faces of Kristen Wiig, a hilarious video compilation from People.

4. This amazing picture from Elephant Green. I want to go to there.

silenceelephantgreen5. Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation, Susan Piver’s new book, a wonderful guide to starting and sustaining a meditation practice.

startherenow6. Roasted Tomato Soup recipe. I made three batches this weekend because our garden is producing so many cherry tomatoes right now. It was super easy and delicious. If we didn’t eat it up so fast, I suspect it would freeze really well too, for later in the year when the fresh tomatoes are all gone. I also want to try this, Crispy Chickpea Kale Salad recipe.

7. The 7 Types Of Girls You Date from BuzzFeedYellow.

8. Whine About It, a new short video series where BuzzFeed writer Matt Bellassai gets drunk at work and complains. I love this so much. I think Matt Bellassai is my spirit animal.

9. Things You Should Make, Not Buy. “From marinara to mustard, more than 20 recipes for dishes and pantry staples that are so much better homemade.”

10. Have You Cut the Cable Cord? We did a few years back, have a computer hooked up to our tv and use the internet to watch Netflix and Hulu, which allows for more intentional watching, even when it’s binge watching.

11. The Adorable Tiny Dancer In This Insurance Ad Will Absolutely Make Your Day. It’s true.

12. A Couple Did A Newborn Photo Shoot With Their Dog To Stop People Asking About Babies.

13. “Am I Too Fat for Yoga Class?” on Wanderlust.

14. How to Age Gracefully – CBC Radio WireTap. “People of all ages offer words of wisdom to their younger counterparts in this WireTap farewell video, from CBC Radio One.”

15. Surviving The Loss Of My Beautiful Daughter Tess.

16. Sandra Bland’s Legacy: The Website for Women She Helped Found Launches Today.

17. Lesbian Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Countered Dad’s Secrecy By Being Out And Open.

18. The Inner Light of Creativity: Vivian Gornick on How One Blossoms into Being an Artist on Brain Pickings.

19. 7 Things to Remember If You’re a White Person Dating a Person of Color.

20. Romanian City Gives Free Bus Rides To Passengers Who Read Books Inside.

21. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: A Little Inspiration, and Lessons from a Salad Bar, and The “Healthiest Possible Body” Myth, and That Sad Little Fat-Shaming Photoshop Project.

22. The HAES® files: Fit or Fat – Can You Be Both?

23. You Really Should Be Skinnier.

24. Truthbomb #866 from Danielle LaPorte, “Your voice is your liberation.”

25. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

To love is so easy — to judge is so NOT. To be loved is so beautiful — to be judged is so NOT. Aren’t we so lucky that it is not our job to judge others? Wouldn’t it be so hard if we were assigned to pick each other apart and decide which parts are good and which parts are bad and how someone should be living their life? or raising their children? or how someone should vote? or what they should be doing for a job? or how they should wear their hair or how much they should weigh or where they should live or how they should dress or how they should behave? Aren’t we so fortunate that the job of judging others does not fall on us?

And aren’t we so very very very lucky that our biggest job is just to LOVE each other and to decide FOR OURSELVES how WE will each live individually — how we will behave, how we will wear our hair, how we will raise our children, how we will vote, how we will live our lives, what we will do for a career, who we will spend our life with. And then WE get to live with those decisions—

Our job when it comes to each other is only to LOVE…in spite of our differences and in spite of the fact that we sometimes do not understand each other. Aren’t we just so darned lucky??? What a beautiful thing that our greatest job as fellow human beings is simply to love each other — fully and completely. What a beautiful and perfect world.

Let’s do it. YOU are loved.

26. 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs, a link originally shared by the amazing Alexandra Franzen, who is on the list, as she should be. She also shared some great stuff on her blog recently, Is it possible to run a business without using social media?, and Why I do not use social media anymore.

27. Learning to Say Goodbye from Jennifer Louden.

28. Everyday Icon: The Creative Couple, a great interview with the amazing artist Lisa Congdon and her wife Clay Walsh, Lisa’s Head of Marketing and Operations, in which they talk about “working together as a married couple to grow Lisa’s brand.”

29. TV reporter makes kid cry when she asks him about first day of school. “A reporter at KTLA made a 4-year-old boy cry when she asked him about his first day of pre-kindergarten.” This is just about the sweetest thing ever. I kinda don’t want Andrew to ever grow up.

30. Jimmy Carter has cancer. It’s so sad, but the way he’s handling it only makes him that much more inspiring: Jimmy Carter on His Cancer Diagnosis and Jimmy Carter Dedicating The Rest Of His Life Fighting For Women’s Rights.

31. Brave Heart, best-selling author Brené Brown on the risks and rewards of daring greatly on Texas Monthly. If you don’t know much about Brene’ Brown, she was recently featured on A Person You Should Know, where they shared lots of great links.

32. I’m on a semi-starvation diet, why am I so hungry?, a question answered by The Fat Nutritionist.

33. AMA on Reddit with Chuck Wendig of Terrible Minds.

34. Exposed: The sick truth behind the great ‘wellness’ blog craze taking social media by storm and one online star battling a secret fitness addiction.

35. Shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list, My Garden Photography & a Garden Tour. Such a beautiful space.

36. When You Struggle with Imposter Syndrome and Self-Doubt from Be More With Less.

37. Why We Create Pain from Laura Simms, in which she contemplates the way we sometimes hold on to pain instead of trading it for freedom.

38. 30 Quick Stories that Will Make You Think Differently. Bite sized bits of dharma from Marc and Angel Hack Life that hit you right in your tender spot.

39. someone you should meet: courtenay on Chookooloonks.

40. Good stuff shared by Austin Kleon on his weekly newsletter: On the virtues of brevity in writing, and The British Library Puts 1,000,000 Images into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Reuse & Remix.

41. The Elephant Whisperer Of Chiang Mai. “Her relationship with these gentle animals prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes.”

42. money talks with Patti Digh with Sherry Belul on Mabel Magazine.

43. 9 Ways to Make Your Days Simple Again on Marc and Angel Hack Life.

44. Wisdom from Rob Nairn’s book, Living, Dreaming, Dying,

Awareness of the thought process at the moment of an impulse arising is what makes freedom from thought possible, because when the mind is only at the stage of an impulse arising, the energies haven’t fully engaged. There is an almost impartial quality about the energy of the impulse. When it is driven into specific thought, the situation changes and it becomes “my thought with my feeling, therefore me.” This is what is meant by being caught in the thought. The inner energy has transmuted from being something relatively neutral and therefore not very important or compelling into something entirely personal and therefore extremely important and compelling.

45. Sooner or later, the critics move on from Seth Godin.

46. The Process Monkey Asks: What Is Your Writing Process? on Terrible Minds.

Something Good

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

This is a very special Something Good list. Starting today, I am partnering with Wanderlust to share my list with a larger audience. Their tagline is “find your true north,” and they answer the question “what is Wanderlust?” this way,

a strong or irresistible desire to Travel • Practice Yoga • Listen to Music
Eat Well • Be Green • Appreciate Art
and create a community around mindful living.

I’ll still be publishing the full list here every Monday morning, but from now on there will also be a shorter, specially curated list posted on Wanderlust — a collection of my favorites from the longer list, links best suited to their audience and mission. If you clicked over from Wanderlust today, welcome! And if you are already one of my kind and gentle readers, welcome back!

1. 100 Poems – 100 Days, a new project from an amazing artist, (blogger, author, photographer, and painter), Christina Rosalie. She’s committed to writing 100 original poems in 100 days, posting a new one each day. Her latest painting is also brilliant.

She's finally finished…3×4' #bewild #mixedmedia #studiotime #conceptualart #livetocreate #figuredrawing #bloom

A photo posted by Christina Rosalie (@christina_write) on

2. Motivation < Action from Paul Jarvis, sent out in his Sunday Dispatches email. “Motivation, even for mundane things like exercise or writing more, is theoretical. Whereas action is tangible.” This piece is a great argument for taking one tiny step rather than making a big plan. He also posted a great piece on Medium, Master working for yourself without crushing your soul, which he summarizes this way,

People that really do well working for themselves don’t do it for the money fights on their private yachts or the standing ovations (on Facebook), they do it because they want to add value for others while leading life as they see fit.

3. I’m Too Old for This on The New Yorker. Author Dominique Browning considers a new mantra, “A goodbye to all that has done nothing but hold us back.”

4. Why I Got Rid of My Teacher’s Desk. I love this, but I had to admit all I keep thinking was “where are you going to keep your stuff?”

5. The Size We’re Supposed to Be from Dances with Fat. “It doesn’t matter what size someone is or why they are that size, it’s absolutely none of anybody else’s business, and everybody deserves to be treated with basic human respect.” Amen. Ragen also gives some good advice in another post, When Good Friends Post Bad Fat Jokes, advice that seems like it would be relevant to dealing with a whole host of offenses.

6. Paramedic’s angry Facebook post about “burger flippers” getting $15/hr goes viral.

7. Walking vs. Elliptical Machine, Redux. Which is better? Read this and find out, (sort of).

8. Which Character Strengths Are Most Predictive of Well-Being? Read the answer in this post on Scientific American. **Spoiler alert** “The single best predictor of well-being was gratitude.”

9. 28 of the best things I ever did — from my bedroom to my business, a list worth contemplating from Danielle LaPorte. What would be on your list?

10. CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret. I don’t CrossFit train because I’m afraid of the yelling and crashing of weights and loud music, because of all the noise, but this seems like another reason to take care.

11. Wisdom from PattyMara Gourley, “May my art be my medicine. May my medicine be my art.”

12. Help! I Have a Weird Relationship with Food, But Is It an Eating Disorder? An important discussion about an important issue on Everyday Feminism, which suggests, “And the problem is that we’ve standardized disordered eating to the point that we think it’s normal.”

13. Why Does Anyone Do Yoga, Anyway? on Psychology Today. “The health benefits are very real. But few understand how it affects the mind.”

14. Why diets don’t actually work, according to a researcher who has studied them for decades. I think I shared this when it first came out, but it’s definitely worth a repeat read.

15. Why Norway’s Prison System Is So Successful. **Spoiler alert** “The country relies on a concept called ‘restorative justice,’ which aims to repair the harm caused by crime rather than punish people. This system focuses on rehabilitating prisoners.”

16. A Prayer for Writers & Creatives from Jennifer Louden, a wonderful reworking of “metta” or lovingkindness practice. It makes me think of all the other ways we might use this practice, the other special, specific populations we could offer it to more directly.

17. Starving Is A Terrible Condition For Making Art from Terrible Minds. Chuck Wendig debunks the myth and gives some really great advice.

18. A whole bunch of wisdom from Seth Godin: The squeaky wheel problem (an issue certainly worth considering), and Make three lists (a great practice when starting a new project), and The other kinds of laziness (so important), and The illusion of control (oh, snap!).

19. Wisdom from a Note from the Universe, “Always listen to your doubts…Not just because they might teach you of your fears, but because, sometimes, they might teach you of your wisdom.”

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You have the right to stand up for yourself. If you are being hurt, abused, manipulated, bullied or diminished by someone else, you have the right to stop it. You can be kind, wish everyone the best, and do what you can to be helpful, but that doesn’t mean you should ever allow someone to chip away at you. You are way too important. You have the right to protect yourself.

We must never allow others to abuse us where we are weak. We must not let others determine our worth, ever. We must not allow our hearts to be abused, manipulated or exploited.

We can be kind, but this does not mean that we need to allow everyone to the closest parts of our souls. We must guard the gates to our hearts and recognize that it is a true honor for anyone to ever come close to the deepest parts of us, and this honor should be reserved for a select few who only want the best for us and who love us exactly as we are. You have a right to stand up for yourself. You have a right to walk away. You have a right to go where the peace is.

and this,

Did you know that one of the keys to a happy and peaceful life is to do your best to leave a mark of goodness wherever you go? Here’s a tip to big and little pieces of random and beautiful happiness:

-Whenever you can, if it is in your power, leave people, places, and situations better than you found them.

-Do your best when you are working, whether or not you are publicly rewarded for it (the best rewards are the internal ones, when you can feel so good deabout your work)

-Be kind and as generous as possible to others, whether or not they notice or appreciate it

-Make your surroundings more beautiful than you found them, whether or not it is your responsibility.

This is especially helpful and wonderful if your brain wants to do the opposite because you have been hurt by someone or something. It heals your whole soul if what your brain really wants to do is ‘stick it to’ someone, but YOU choose to joyfully give. The very best thing you can ever, ever do for your heart and your soul is to leave people, places, and situations better than you found them, even if those things did they best they could to leave you in a not-so-desirable position. YOU have the power to turn it all around and make it beautiful again.

20. 8 Ways to Get Ready for Your Wild and Precious Life on Be More With Less. Courtney is so good at distilling the truth down to the simplest seed. In this post, she ends with,

“While we can’t be certain about how our lives will unfold, when we decide to be mindful about how we spend our time, and the people we want to be, we have a shot at not only knowing the answer to this lovely question, but living it too.”

21. Good stuff from Allowing Myself: Do Your Work, in which Justine makes the distinction between her job and her work, and trust, where she tells the story of her new tattoo, “I contemplated it for so long, it’s like something snapped into place, like it’s always been there, it’s just now I can see it.”

22. Manifesto of the Brave & Brokenhearted: The Rising Strong Book Trailer from Brene’ Brown.

23. 3 Small Discipline Habits You Can Train from Zen Habits, great advice and a gentle approach to finding a little more discipline in our lives, “Three simple skills that can be turned into habits with repeated practice.”

24. in the garden, August 7 on SouleMama. Her garden updates are so dreamy. I want to go to there.

25. Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant, a repeat share, but there’s still a need, so much money left to raise. Andres just turned four last week, and I hope he gets much, much older, as well as healthy.

26. Don’t Fucking Touch Me. *sigh*

27. 40 Questions that Will Quiet Your Mind from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I don’t think this is the right title for this post. It should be “40 questions that will prompt a bunch of contemplation, thinking, and brain activity.” They’d be really great conversation starters or journal prompts.

28. Take Back Your Life, wisdom from Rachel Cole. “Your time, energy, and money are precious precious resources. They are the stuff that either makes or wastes a meaningful life.”

29. Awakening connections from Kirsten Akens. I finally got to meet Kirsten in person, when we attending the event she talks about in this post. It’s so great to see her getting clear about who she is, what she has to offer.

30. so, about that daring way workshop on Chookooloonks. Seriously, Karen and Brene’ are a super duo. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.

31. money talks with amy tingle on Mabel Magazine.

32. Good stuff shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: a gallery of Ebola survivors, and a rustic country retreat (I want to go to there), and Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence.

33. 5 Tweets That Sum Up Why People Are Upset About Stonewall, “why Stonewall misses the mark and why people are signing the GSA Network’s petition for a boycott of the film.”

34. Creative Man Builds a Feline Feeding Machine That Requires His Cat to Hunt for His Dinner. What a wonderful life this cat has.

35. Earth View: A Curated Selection of the Most Striking Satellite Images Found on Google Earth, an amazing set of pictures.

36. Artist Buys Billboard Advertising Time to Display Art Instead of Ads on Massachusetts Highways. “Created as a set of billboards along two Massachusetts highways, ‘Healing Tool’ is a temporary public art installation by artist Brian Kane produced to temporarily relieve stress and promote introspection during one’s monotonous daily commute.”

37. Why You Need To Try Japanese Forest Bathing. “Inspired by Buddhist and Shinto practices, forest bathing naturally engages you in non-directed attention and mindfulness meditation.”

38. Wisdom from Shunryu Suzuki, “The only way you can endure your pain is to let it be painful.”

39. How Long You Can Freeze Everything, In One Chart. As summer winds down and my garden stops producing and fruit season ends, this will help as I consider what I might save.

40. We Need to Talk About Amy Winehouse’s Eating Disorder and Its Role In Her Death.

41. New Suicide Hotline Dedicated to Trans People Now Open for Calls.

42. Seven-Year-Old Black Belt Is Breakout Star in Gender Equality Ad From ANZ.

43. Centuries-old bonsai that survived atomic bomb gets honored 70 years later.

44. What To Do When You See Someone Being Harassed. Really good advice on Medium.

45. 16 Graphs That Will Help You Understand Your Highly Sensitive Friends So Much Better.

46. My township calls my lawn ‘a nuisance.’ But I still refuse to mow it. “Manicured lawns are ruining the planet.”

47. The Enmity Remained: Negating the Possibility of Change by Sharon Salzberg. Her regular column at On Being is worth following. Because this,

I think it is true that in the reality of our lives some might wish to harm us. As wise human beings, we should try to avoid them or do anything we can do to null their power. I’ve heard of the Dalai Lama, for example, telling a friend with a mentally ill mother who had in the past tried to harm her to open her heart completely to her mother and offer her lovingkindness and compassion — but from a distance. That was a stunner. The Dalai Lama advising clear boundaries and self-protection? Well yes, but from a place of wisdom and compassion, rather than hatred and disdain. The wisdom and compassion provide their own powerful energy and give us strength to act.

Something Good

thefarm1. The problem with holding a grudge, and Plenty more, and Abandoning perfection from Seth Godin.

2. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club:

It’s time to stop waiting. It’s time to become who you want to become and do what you want to do and learn what you want to learn and rest when you want to rest and take little pieces of time and do terrific things with them that are beautiful and personal and unique and true.

And,

We all have a proverbial basket of things that are in need of mending, all of us do! We have relationships, sweaters, cabinet doors, hearts, dreams, windows………..thing after thing in need of some attention and time.

Sometimes we get paralyzed by the amount of things in that basket, so we just start walking past it, pretending that it’s not there…but still feeling something deeply gnawing at us, and preventing us from feeling total peace.

Don’t be afraid to look in your basket, beautiful friend…..just start picking up one piece of mending and work on it a little….then another tomorrow. This can be real, physical things like sewing a button back on your favorite coat, to much bigger things…like sending a nice card to someone you’ve had a falling-out with but would love to patch things up with.

Don’t let your basket of mending steal any more of your joy or peace. Take an honest look at it today and then take a deep breath and make a plan to start mending things…..a little at time, and then let it go and be o.k. with it all.

And

What would a leap of faith look like?

That thing that’s been lingering on your mind, burning in your heart…..that scary beautiful thing that you can’t get out of your whole soul because it wants to be heard and acted upon……..guess what lovely? It’s not going to go away.

It’s not going to go away because it’s your deepest wisdom and authenticity…trying to get you on exactly the right track. It is your truth.

What is it that is holding you back? Would it be so bad just to take that first step? Would it be so bad to stop and really honor yourself and at least listen to that longing?

This is where the fork in the road just might lead to the place you’ve been praying to be.

Get quiet, dear friend…….listen closely….then be brave when you know exactly what to do next.

Live THAT ONE PRECIOUS LIFE OF YOURS….really really live it.

It is time.

3. Own our history. Change the story. from Brene’ Brown.

4. The Best & Less-than-Best Motivations for Learning from Zen Habits.

5. 9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain.

6. Magical Thinking, Yoga, And Internal Inquiry.

7. Good stuff on Brain Pickings: Pool: A Tender Illustrated Celebration of Quiet Curiosity and How We Find Our Kindred Spirits, and How to Own Your Story: Vivian Gornick on the Art of Personal Narrative and the Power of Textured Storytelling, and The Subterranean River of Emotion: Cheryl Strayed on Writing, the Art of Living with Opposing Truths, and the Three Ancient Motifs in All Great Storytelling.

8. Finding the Wisdom in Your Worrying & Whining from Jen Louden.

9. Online “Success” And “Failure” Don’t Look The Way You Think. (Thanks for sharing, Laura).

10. Is Your Purpose Frivolous? from Laura Simms.

11. Good stuff from Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: On Working, A Lot and Paying Off a Mortgage in Seven Years.

12. The Truth Does Not Change According to Our Ability to Stomach It: A Southerner’s Perspective on the Confederate Flag.

13. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: To be a teacher and remain a student and Jenny Diski’s End Notes.

14. Shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: this amazing designer and The Beautiful Wooden Dome House In A Forest.

15. Every Day, I Draw One Animal Letter A Day To Teach My Son The Alphabet.

16. Good stuff from {Peacefulinks #9} Useful Resources Handpicked and Handcurated for You This Week from Peaceful Triumphs: Leadership With Simon Sinek: Serving Those Who Serve Others, and Quitting as a Productivity Tactic, and How Meditation Saved My Business.

17. ‘I Identify As Black,’ Rachel Dolezal Says In TV Interview.

18. 5th grade boys Synchronized Air Swimming Talent Show Skit W A Porter Elementary. So cute.

19. A Photo Essay: Orr Lake & Beyond on Rowdy Kittens.

20. SLIP | @PhillipChbeeb & Renee Kester | @ElliotMossMusic. Everything about this is so beautiful.

21. The Buddhists Who Are Speaking Out. “Buddhists in countries around the world are speaking out in an effort to rescue and protect tens of thousands of displaced people – many of them risking death in overcrowded boats – in Southeast Asia. TIME magazine this month called them ‘The nowhere people.'”

22. Latin proverb, “If there is no wind, row.”

23. Sara Seinberg on movement, the fallacy of willpower, and seeing the body as an opportunity.

24. Willpower: The Big Bullshit Hoagie from Sara Seinberg.

25. Scott Carver’s Bucket List Fund, on GoFundMe.

26. Hunter Treschl’s fundraising page on GoFundMe. Hunter says,

I’ve lost my arm obviously, so I have two options: I can try to live my life the way I was and make an effort to do that even though I don’t have an arm, or I can just let this be completely debilitating and bring my life down and ruin it. Out of those two, there’s really only one that I would actually choose and that’s to try to fight and live a normal life with the cards I’ve been dealt.

27. Rachel Dolezal Syndrome, (thanks for sharing, Patti).

28. The First Time I Was Called “Fat.”

29. Ricky & Doris: An Unconventional Friendship in New York City. With Puppets!

30. say something from Chookooloonks.

31. Charleston Church Shooting on The Daily Show.

32. The Perils of Father’s Day by Christine Mason Miller.

33. How to Figure out what’s Important When You Have too Much to Do from Be More With Less.

34. America is ready: Same-sex couples show how long they’ve been waiting for the freedom to marry.

35. Harriet Tubman Set to Be Honored with Face on $10 Bill.

36. The Roar Sessions: Patti Digh.

37. Dreamy Modern Loft Oasis : Portland. Too bad Pearl time doesn’t come with the rental.

38. Your mission: use your gifts, wisdom from Britt Bravo.

39. How I Reactivated My Creative Bone.

40. Fat Classics: Dieting, health, and the hijacking of Hippocrates by Helen Morales.

41. In A Relationship With A Highly Sensitive Person? Here’s What You Need To Know.

42. Wisdom from U Pandita, “In Buddhist practice, we work to expand the range of life experiences in which we are free.”

43. Why Our Culture Is Obsessed With Thinness.

44. Existing in the pause from Neil Gaiman.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric

1. BROKEN SAVIORS: Alien Invasion Comic Book Kickstarter project. 12 days to go, and so close.

2. 3 Ways to Make Your Life Simple and Successful Again from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

3. May my suffering be of service from Danielle LaPorte.

4. A series of guest posts about courage hosted by Marianne Elliott.

5. Does Intuitive Eating mean eating whatever and whenever you feel like it? ~Guest post by Terri Barger on Eat to Love.

6. Listening to your Life from Rachel Cole.

7. The Limitless Living Course from Caroline Leon. FREE.

8. When Others Frustrate You and A Simple, Powerful Self-Compassion Method from Zen Habits.

9. Heart-opener from Guinevere Gets Sober.

10. The Just F*cking Journal Class: April 20-24, 2015 from Jamie Greenwood. FREE.

11. RAIN by Teah Strozer on Tricycle, which says,

Getting started on a spiritual path takes guts. We usually don’t know it in the beginning, but if we keep going on it — if we really want to know the truth of what it means to be human or if we are deeply finished with our suffering — we will learn that walking the path of freedom takes a humble courage. It also takes determination, humor, a balanced effort, and the willingness to feel, directly in our body, the suffering brought by attachment to our conditioned thoughts, which create separation, dis-ease, and the greed and aversion we usually use to seek happiness. But the promise is real. We can be free of suffering; we can know our wide-awake mind and the open heart that goes with it.

12. Why I Seldom Teach The Hero’s Journey Anymore — And What I Teach Instead.

13. The “Food Babe” Blogger Is Full of Shit. And in related news, The “Food Babe” Strikes Back At Her Critics.

14. Grief is the Price We Pay for Love.

15. How BMI affects emotional eating from Isabel Foxen Duke.

16. Perpetual Potential Thin Person from Dances with Fat.

17. Blue Mood on SF Girl by Bay.

18. Devotion to myself? on The Art of Wildness.

19. 3 selfies shared by Chris Rock are just one more way he’s demonstrating racism still exists.

20. This family is ‘blissfully enjoying life on the slow road, with no end in sight.’

21. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Mom Captures Powerful Photos Of Her Fearless Daughters To Show That ‘Strong Is The New Pretty’ and Incredible Miniature Paintings Of Galaxies, Animals And Books By Lorraine Loots.

22. The psychology of mean bosses is so fascinating you’ll wish this 2-minute video was 20 minutes long.

23. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Many of our escapes are involuntary: addiction and dissociating from painful feelings are two examples. Anyone who has worked with a strong addiction—compulsive eating, compulsive sex, abuse of substances, explosive anger, or any other behavior that’s out of control—knows that when the urge comes on it’s irresistible. The seduction is too strong. So we train again and again in less highly charged situations in which the urge is present but not so overwhelming. By training with everyday irritations, we develop the knack of refraining when the going gets rough. It takes patience and an understanding of how we’re hurting ourselves not to continue taking the same old escape route of speaking or acting out.

24. 20 Great Writers on Motivating Yourself To Write, No Matter What.

25. 4 Myths About Police Brutality We Need To Stop Spreading Right Now.

26. Louis CK’s impression of Jimmy Fallon = the best thing ever. In related news, 4 years ago, Louis C.K. went on ‘Conan’ and told a story that explains why we love him.

27. I love big book news and I cannot lie! from Brene’ Brown.

28. for love of liberation on Lists and Letters.

29. Beware of Tribal Shame! from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

30. Shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: 10 Success Secrets of the Highly-Creative, and 7 Reasons Your Wife Is Stressed Out All the Time, and The rise of the death doula.

31. This Woman Was Reunited With A Gorilla After 12 Years. What Happened Next Will Tear Your Heart Out.

32. Body Talk. (Thanks to Rachel for sharing).

33. Advice From Former Racist: ‘If You Hear Something Racist, F–king Stand Up and Take Responsibility.’ I can’t stop thinking about this video. Such wisdom from a completely unexpected place.

34. The Floor In His Apartment Is Covered In Bread. When I Saw Why? I Was Choking Back Tears.

35. “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions…” on Elephant Journal. It’s from a few years ago now, but it always makes me stop and think.

Something Good

1. Bat Dad videos. He makes me laugh.

2. In the presence of perfect love from Rachael Maddox.

3. Comedian Tig Notaro continues to laugh at cancer in new Sundance documentary. I can’t wait to see this, and the article says she’s also working on a memoir.

4. Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome, a new book from my favorite president.

5. Watch: Matthieu Ricard says altruism is the solution, a new TED Talk in which “Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard offers his simple solution to climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality. The problem, he says, is selfishness, and the solution is altruism. It’s a simple — even naïve — idea, but Ricard makes a compelling case that altruism is a real, effective solution.”

6. Cosby: ‘Trust Me.’ How many women need to say this happened to them?

7. Good stuff from Patti Digh: book stack tuesday : the art of asking and balance your power.

8. Good stuff on Medium: Voluntary Mindslaughter: How learning to “Just Sit” can get you through anything, and If Someone Has All Three of These Things, Hire Them, and Wake No More.

9. Plus-size model Tess Holliday busts out of stereotype.

10. Just watch how much the "ideal" body type has changed over 3,000 years.

11. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Why sometimes it’s so difficult to be a person, and The Drama Triangle, and The End of Martyrdom.

12. 18 Hilarious Notes To Robbers.

13. Why People Hate Tess Munster (And Other Happy Fat People), brilliance from The Militant Baker.

14. Good stuff from lists and letters: strong medicine and illness: things i have learned in its shadow, and the morning after, when light breaks through the window blinds.

15. Exploding Kittens is the most backed Kickstarter project ever. He asked for $10,000, and with 17 days remaining, he’s already gotten over 5 million.

16. Interview with Wild Mama Carrie Visintainer from Laura Resau. The writing cabin! *sigh*

19. It’s how the light gets in… from The Bloggess. They break our hearts, but we keep letting them in.

20. Teacher And His Students Recreate ‘Uptown Funk,’ Get An A+ In Breakin’ It Down.

21. Good stuff on Bored Panda: I Take Personal Portraits Of Dogs, Cats And Horses, and I Found This Adorable Puppy In An Abandoned Backyard And Brought Her Home, and Artist Spent One Year In The Woods Creating Surreal Sculptures From Organic Materials.

22. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

The peace that we’re looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.

23. A Calm, Open Walk Through a Dark & Tangled Mess from Laurie Wagner.

24. Cheap easy. Quality easy. And The Myth of Endurance. from Danielle LaPorte.

25. Doubt’s Foot In Logic’s Door: Thoughts On Anti-Vaxxer Attitude from Terrible Minds.

26. Wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut, (thanks for sharing, Anna),

Be soft.
Do not let this world make you hard.
Do not let the pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be
A beautiful place.

27. Wisdom from Joanna Macy, “You don’t need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough.”

28. Reflections on Overwhelm from Lisa Congdon.

29. Alice Gregory on Finding a Uniform, shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

30. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: “How to feel miserable as an artist,” and How to stay alive, and Interview with Unmistakable Creative.

31. Truthbomb #722 from Danielle LaPorte, “Joy is an indicator of deep wellness.”

32. Beautiful natural sculptures made by balancing rocks, shared on Chookooloonks’ This Was a Good Week list.

33. Raise your hand. Say yes. with Laura Simms. Thank you, Tiffany Han for interviewing some of my favorite people. It’s like you’ve created a podcast just for me.

34. 5 Counterintuitive Money Lessons from 2014 from Laura Simms.

35. The OTHER Reason People Binge-Eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

36. 25 Meaningful Things You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less from Be More With Less.

37. A Note from the Universe, “Look to what you’re afraid of, Jill, to learn where you can grow.”

38. Sweetness on Faith Tap: Little Girl Sings Old MacDonald’s Farm and Brother and Sister Sing Hero.

39. Colleen McCullough: we’ll celebrate a woman for anything, as long as it’s not her talent. This makes me sick to my stomach.

40. Is this NASA’s best ever official portrait? Coolest astronaut sneaks his dogs into photo shoot.

41. If My Body Could Speak from Kira Elliott. Take out the part about sugar, and my body could have written this.

42. Good stuff from this week’s Positively Present Picks: The Sketchbook Project and Today is not over yet from Alexandra Franzen.

43. Meditation Physically Changes Your Brain’s Gray Matter for the Better, Study Finds.

44. Anne Lamott on How We Endure and Find Meaning in a Crazy World on Brain Pickings.

45. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook, in which she says,

But Horrible Bonnie would say, Now you get to tell it, because then it will become medicine. Tell it, girl — that we evolve; that life is stunning, wild, gorgeous, weird, brutal, hilarious and full of grace. That our parents were a bit insane, and that healing from this is taking a little bit longer than we had hoped. Tell it.

46. 10 Powerful Ideas that Will Change the Way You Work from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

47. for the love of it on Chookooloonks.

48. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: What are you capable of giving? and Your life is a hot date. Show up.

49. Feed Your Soul from Geneen Roth.

50. On Being podcast, Brené Brown — The Courage to Be Vulnerable.

51. Day Jobs & Creative Entrepreneurship from Jamie Ridler.

52. Beijing life in a shipping container.

53. How I Learned to Love Shopping as a Plus-Size Woman with Mary Lambert.

54. Jimmy Fallon Has A Lip Sync Battle With Will Ferrell & Kevin Hart.

55. Evolution is Exhausting. But You Totally Got This. from Meg Worden.

#YourTurnChallenge: Day Three, Improvement

Today’s Your Turn Challenge prompt is: “Tell us something that you think should be improved.” This is a complicated question, specifically the way in which it invites criticism and judgement. It’s tempting to host a bitch fest, or to write a long list of a bunch of little things that would make for a super boring read. So many things come to mind because there are lots of things that could be better: education, healthcare, the environment, the economy, government, religion, the diet and fitness industries, media, the quality of our food, how the Earth Balance Peanut Butter I buy says “no stir” right on the label but every time I open a new jar some of the oil has separated and settled on the top and I do indeed have to attempt to stir it and I always end up with peanut oil spilled everywhere.

After spending some time contemplating the prompt, I landed on a clear answer: our attachment to “busy.” I had a meeting with my department chair at CSU yesterday, and she said something like, “How are you? I mean I know you are busy, but other than that how are you?” I responded that I don’t think I’m going to be busy anymore, not doing busy from now on. I’m rejecting busy and all its speediness and stress. I don’t mean I’m going to stop working hard. I’ll still be fully engaged, but it’s problematic when we ask each other how we are, and the most likely response is “busy” — by which we mean that we are stressed out and overwhelmed, working too hard and doing too much. We’ve agreed upon a cultural norm in which we prove we are working hard enough, that we’ve earned the right to be here, to make a living and have a life, by being busy. This worn and jangly thing is what we whip out as the evidence that we are good enough. “See how frazzled and frantic I am? Aren’t I good?”

In Brene’ Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection, she talks a lot about this issue. She has two chapters that deal with it directly, “Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth,” and “Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle.” In the first of the two chapters, she says,

We are a nation of exhausted and overstressed adults raising overscheduled children. We use our spare time to desperately search for joy and meaning in our lives. We think accomplishments and acquisitions will bring joy and meaning, but that pursuit could be the very thing that’s keeping us so tired and afraid to slow down.

In the next chapter, she digs a little deeper into this discomfort, looks more closely at this dis-ease, suggesting that,

If we stop long enough to create a quiet emotional clearing, the truth of our lives will invariably catch up with us. We convince ourselves that if we stay busy enough and keep moving, reality won’t be able to keep up. So we stay in front of the truth about how tired and scared and confused and overwhelmed we sometimes feel.

Does this sound familiar, kind and gentle reader? Rushing around, pushing ourselves beyond our limits, always trying to squeeze just a little more in, expecting so much of ourselves and, in turn, of everyone else. We see “Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth.” We don’t even really know how we feel because we are moving too fast. We set the bar so high there’s no way we could ever reach it, ever be successful. We end up both tired and disappointed. We are trying so hard but nothing seems to be working out. Busy, busy, busy.

I for one am opting out of “busy.” Instead, I’m practicing calm, seeking stillness, cultivating compassion. I’m not stopping, just slowing down. It seems entirely reasonable to do so, the sanest choice I could make, even though it means going against the norm.