Category Archives: Hannah Marcotti

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

In order to help others, first we must make ourselves into a proper tool for serving others by improving our own qualities. If our mind is filled with negative emotions, whatever we do will be the expression of those emotions, and therefore, in whomever we reach we could cause ill effects. If we are equipped with loving-kindness, however, even our mere presence could bring authentic peace and joy to those around us. So we must improve our own mental state first, through meditation training.

2. Tiny Humans Lost In The Majesty Of Nature on Bored Panda.

3. Should women shave their legs and under-arms? from The Guardian.

4. A Man With Alzheimer’s Drew Himself For 5 Years. These Photos Are Heartbreaking. on Viral Nova.

5. You Don’t Have a Purpose (Yoinks! I said it.) from Create as Folk.

6. This beautiful poem by Mary Oliver, Mindful, (thanks to Erica Staab for sharing it and reminding me).

Every day I see or hear something that more or less
kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle
in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for – to look, to listen,
to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over
in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant – but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help
but grow wise with such teachings as these – the untrimmable light
of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

7. Bearing witness to the journey on Visible and Real.

8. The unchangeable past from Judy Clement Wall.

9. Note from the Universe,

See, Jill? I told you everything was lining up for you; that the right people were headed your way; that the right things would be said; that you’d become a total love magnet; and that very little of this would be apparent as it was unfolding, yet in hindsight you’d see the stunning perfection. It’s just that right now, you’re mostly in the unfolding part.

10. Transforming Difficulty into Joy from Zen Psychiatry, in which Elana says, “We suffer not because there is no joy in our life; we suffer because there is joy all around us that we fail to notice.”

11. I Don’t Want to Eat this Way on Be More With Less.

12. Good stuff on Medium: I’ve been blogging for 8 freaking years. Here’s what I learned as I went along. and Behind the Till.

13. Do you wish your food and exercise was “consistent?” from Isabel Foxen Duke.

14. Motivation and bravery from Hannah Marcotti, who was able to clarify something for me in this post that I have been struggling with. Also from Hannah,
A woman’s thirst. {A 40 day *free* adventure}.

15. Little Book on Simply Celebrate.

16. Grandpa Just Lost His Dog And His Wife Of 63 Years. How His Family Surprised Him Made Me Cry. Me too. meeeee toooooo.

17. Good stuff from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

18. Don’t mind me, I’m just lost (in the existential sense, thanks) on Renegade Mothering.

19. Here’s What Happens When Your Joke Goes Massively Viral On Twitter, a really interesting article on Business Insider.

20. Wisdom from Dallas Clayton

Much as I love to soul search, there are moments when you realize that perhaps today you are further complicating life by relentlessly seeking elusive answers to profound questions. Perhaps today is a day where you take what you already know to be true and apply it. Simple things we’ve had figured out for decades like the value of exercise, of dipping your feet in the nearest body of water, or having a good laugh with a few close friends. Fruits and vegetables are obvious in that way. Not too complicated, nothing really to fuss over, but simple, delicious, and just as good for you as they’ve ever been.

21. Are You the Judging, Comparing, or Fixing Type? on Dharma Wisdom.

22. An important reminder from Brave Girls Club,

You are doing so many good things. You are going so many wonderful directions. You are spreading so much goodness and kindness and wild-happy energy. You are making goals and dreaming dreams and trying to do even better than you did yesterday. You are thinking about people you love and how you can serve them, you are a loyal friend and family member. You are making an enormous difference in the lives of all who know you, and in so many lives you don’t even know about too.

It’s time to give yourself a break…time to stop and thank your body and your soul for everything it does to keep you going. This would be a great weekend to do just that…give yourself a break. Pat yourself on the back and take a nap and a hot bath…even eat some chocolate! :) Sure, there are still lots of things for you to work on…and you will get to that. You are doing great, and sometimes you just have to stop and let yourself breathe…evaluate…rest…recharge…restore. Take good care of yourself, fabulous friend…we need all of the fabulousness of you! You are loved, loved, loved.

23. Everything is Wonderful. Everything is Terrible. on Wit & Delight, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list. My favorite part is the paragraph near the end,

Some days, everything is wonderful. Some days, everything is terrible. It’s par for the course, even for those free of mental afflictions. Being human means riding these waves. If you have one or two bad days a week, you’re doing great. If you have one melt-down every few years, you’re doing spectacular. If you are having the worst year of your life, hold on to hope, because it does get better.

24. Hello Wonderful, “a deliciously free series of email love notes meant to usher us sweetly into the new season” from Mara Glatzel.

25. An artist compiled all her rejections in an ‘anti-resume.’ Here’s what can be learned from failure, (shared by Alison Luterman), which says,

So the anti-resumé remains my deceptively simple answer to the question, ‘How do you do it?’: that I persisted during all those years of rejection for no other reason than that I loved writing so much I wanted to spend all my time doing it. Writing must be its own reward, even for the most talented and hardworking writers, or they’re going to have a tough time.

26. Today I Will Do Nothing, (shared by Sandi Amorim).

27. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

28. I am Andrea Gibson, a queer touring poet with extreme stage fright. AMA! on Reddit. One of my favorite poets. Here’s a video of one of my favorite poems by Andrea, “A letter to my dog, exploring the human condition.”

Something Good

sundaymorningyoga02Saturday morning, I posted this status update on Facebook:

Dear Creative People of the Internets,
I already have 50+ items for my Something Good list on Monday. Please take the rest of the weekend off.
Love you.
Love,
Me

Apparently, no one was listening. I grouped things together so that it wouldn’t seem so long, but there is so much good stuff this week!

1. Surviving Whole Foods on Huffington Post by Kelly MacLean.

2. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

We’ve got to take time to take care of ourselves. We must. We go and go and go and go and go and wonder why we are tired, depleted and ready to drop, and then some of us take it a step further and punish ourselves for not being able to muster up the energy to keep going. Beautiful friend, please stop and listen to your heart. Please ask it what it is feeling emptied out of. Please ask it what would bring it comfort, joy and rest. Please be kind to your body. Bodies need sleep, solitude, kindness and good food. Souls need sleep, solitude, kindness, and good food. Bodies and souls need to feel connected to the source of everything that is good and true. You are not a machine, a robot, a slave or an object. You are a soul with a body that gets tired. Souls get tired too. Souls need refueling, so do bodies. This does not mean you are weak, useless or less valuable. This means that you are real. Take some time this week to nurture your soul and your body. It must me done. It is the right thing to do. You are too important to wear out, abuse and over-use.

3. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: A Bad Yoga Day, and How to Get Out of Our Own Way, and Am I Too Fat for Yoga?, and The outcome of saving & adopting a dog, and 16 Quotes on Being More & Having Less.

floweralarm4. Good stuff from Twisted Sifter: Picture of the Day: Portland’s Famous Japanese Maple, and Canvas Backdrops Turn Actual Trees Into 2D Artworks, and 25 Pictures of Life Captured by Google Street View, and Snapshots of Life Captured on Google Street View, and a Flickr photo set, Flying over the Tulip Fields.

5. Good stuff from Becoming Minimalist: 10 Tips to Start Living in the Present, and 10 Common Objections to Minimalism, and 7 Life Misconceptions Portrayed in Popular Television Advertisements.

6. Wisdom from Kute Blackson on Facebook, “Living restricted by a commitment you made yesterday that no longer is true today only leads to suffering and stifles your true aliveness.”

7. Creative Costumes of Still-Practiced Pagan Rituals of Europe on Bored Panda.

8. Retired Military Working dog meets his first kitten, super cute video on Dog Heirs.

9. Truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte: “Care more about being precisely who you are than what other people think of you,” and “Self care is a divine responsibility.”

risk your

risk your

10. Note from the Universe: “Happiness arrives not in the absence of problems, Jill, but in the absence of rules about when you can feel it.”

11. Another great Kickstarter project, Everything I Know by Paul Jarvis.

12. Advice For Writing; Or, What I Know So Far, Which Might Actually Be Nothing At All.

13. 27 Reasons Why Parents Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Text.

14. Christina Rosalie shared this poem by Rose Cook on Facebook,

This is a poem for someone
who is juggling her life.
Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.

It needs repeating
over and over
to catch her attention
over and over
because someone juggling her life
finds it difficult to hear.

Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.
Let it all fall sometimes.

15. Be Brave from ZeFrank.

16. 7 Things Fear has Stolen from You from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

17. 5 more ways to stay creative from Chookooloonks.

18. Dear Ones — So…I’ve been doing a lot of… from Elizabeth Gilbert, in which she says,

People will either read my future books, or they won’t. I can’t control any of that. The only thing I can control is my commitment to pursuing my creative curiosity wherever it leads me, for as long as I am capable of working…I’ll follow that thread of curiosity wherever it wants me to go! Because I’ve never found a better secret to living happily.

19. How to Go On Your Shero’s Journey in 12 Simple Steps from Jennifer Louden.

20. Limits and Creativity: Has Too Little Sleep Got You Reaching for the ‘Do Not Disturb’ Sign? and The Body, Mind, and Space of Self-Care for Creatives — Part 1: The Body from Scoutie Girl.

21. Just one thing – focus on what you love from Christina Rosalie.

22. Vet’s Genius Sense of Humor, “These signs are from the Eau Gallie Veterinary Hospital in Melbourne, Florida. Major points for creativity!!”
purplepetals23. Poem from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Simple Prayer for Remembering The Motherlode,

We do not become healers.
We came as healers. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not become storytellers.
We came as carriers of the stories
we and our ancestors actually lived. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not become artists. We came as artists. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not become writers.. dancers.. musicians.. helpers.. peacemakers. We came as such. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not learn to love in this sense. We came as Love. We are Love. Some of us are still catching up to who we truly are.

24. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: Yoga In The Streets Of New York City (Stunning Slideshow) and 10 Signs You’ve Found Your Calling and 11 Fun Facts About Avocados.

25. This Board Game Aims To Teach Preschoolers How To Code on NPR.

purpleplant26. Good stuff on Upworthy: Watch A Man Playing Piano In His House After The Floods For A Heartbreaking Reason (the most heartbreaking, beautiful thing I saw in relation to Colorado’s recent 1000 year flood), and His First 4 Sentences Are Interesting. The 5th Blew My Mind. And Made Me A Little Sick. (an explanation of why healthcare is so expensive in the U.S.), and People Should Know About This Awful Thing We Do, And Most Of Us Are Simply Unaware, (a heartbreaking, true video that leaves me utterly confused about what more to DO to help).

27.  How I Do It: An Interview with Alexandra Franzen on In Spaces Between.

28. Eat, Pray, Love, Get Rich, Write a Novel No One Expects, a piece about Elizabeth Gilbert from The New York Times.

29. Wisdom from Pam Houston, shared on A Design So Vast, “Life gives us what we need when we need it,” she said.  “Receiving what it gives us is a whole other thing.”

30. 20 Things the Dog Ate by Brian Doyle on Orion Magazine.

31. The Only 9/11 Ad To Ever Get It Right, from the New York City Ballet on BuzzFeed — life is tender and terrible, and this video is so beautiful.

32. Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones. I shared this yesterday, but I am worried you may have missed it, assumed that it wasn’t for you. If you don’t look at anything else on this list, please watch this video. He manages to distill the most essential Buddhist teaching, the most important thing to know about being human, the most fundamental wisdom about the human condition, into a less than five minute comedy routine.

33. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

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

I always say the same things: you are loved and chosen , a unique, lovely, wild and slightly screwed up creation. Try to get a little writing done every day–it will help you know and forgive yourself, which is why we are here. Earth is forgiveness school. What you are looking for is already inside you. There is no way to achieve, date, buy or lease anything that will fill up the Swiss cheese holes within. “Figure it out” is not a good slogan.

35. Wisdom from Geneen Roth on Facebook.

36. Goodnight Beautiful Day, an October gift from Hannah Marcotti.

37. 7 Ways to Cultivate a Deep Sense of Love for Yourself on Tiny Buddha.

38. Meet B-Girl Terra, the Flyest Six-Year-Old Dancer Around.

purplepetals0339. This Is Why I Have To Leave by Kristen Forbes. (Confession: I get a little jealous when I read something like this).

40. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

It’s so worth it to do the work to figure out just what it is that brings the sparkle into your eyes. You are different than anyone else who ever came before you and anyone who will ever come after. Your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and motivations are unique to you. Try not to get caught up in searching for happiness in someone else’s version of life. You are not like anyone else. It’s okay if your greatest joys come from reading a book, or going for a walk, or talking to a child or hiking a mountain. Not everyone finds joy in running marathons . . . not everyone finds joy in reading books! Find out what really lights you up and then search for more of THAT in your life….even if it isn’t the usual things that the world is telling you that you should want. Just be you, then be true to that YOU. The world needs you in all of your alive-ness. You can’t come completely alive until you know what it is that gets you there, and once you know for sure, OWN it, PROTECT it and EMBRACE it. Search it out and hold on to it. ENJOY IT.

41. BatDad. His wife seems slightly annoyed by this behavior, but I think it is hilarious.

42. Do What You Can In Ten Minutes by Jeff Oaks.

43. Wisdom from Alysia Harris, shared by Justine Musk, “The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely + utterly walk away.”

44. Making Peace with the Past: Entering the Post-Regret Years on Huffington Post.

45. When is the best time to create? by Paul Jarvis.

45. Puppy’s First Visit To The Beach Will Make All Other Dog Photos Out There Irrelevant on Huffington Post.

47. Kid President’s Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!

48. 18 Controversial Facts About Being Fat That You Need To Know on BuzzFeed.

49. Wisdom from Story People, “Some of the stuff I learned early on was useful, she told me, but most of it was obviously meant for someone who was not me.”

50. Are You Ready for the First Ever Self-Love Blogging Carnival? from Anne-Sophie. Seven days of good stuff.

51. Happy World Gratitude Day! 21 stories of love, respect, generosity + over-the-top awesomeness. from Alexandra Franzen.

52. Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Amy Poehler on Hello Giggles.

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, ending with such a good question,

This morning, as I begin preparing for our twice yearly retreat, I remembered something that I realized years ago, when I was struggling with my own weight challenges: that until and unless I wanted something more than I wanted to be thinner, I would never lose weight and keep it off. Not in a way that didn’t include deprivation and judgment. For myself, I had to want to know what was at the bottom of my eating. I had to want to touch that hunger. To become aware that the whole thing wasn’t really about food, but about something much more profound–and it was that that I had to want to touch, know, heal. Once I did that (and it was a process, not a one-time event), the weight came off, and stayed off for all these years.

So–what do you want more than you want to lose weight? What do you really really want?

2. 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy.

3. Sustainability and the Sacred on Huffington Post, in which Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee says,

If we are to sustain this world of wonder, what is essential in our response is not just action but a shift in consciousness, a shift away from seeing the Earth as something separate from ourselves, as a resource to be used and abused. Real sustainability is not the sustainability of our present lifestyle — our image of progress and economic growth — but the sustainability of a sacred Earth, rich in biodiversity and wonder.

4. How I see my dog vs. how my dog sees me on The Oatmeal.

5. A Short Study in Insurrection, Jennifer Boykin on Jonathan Fields’ blog.

6. New Wheels & a Lesson in Confidence from Vivienne McMaster.

7. “The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It’s wholeheartedness.” ~ David Whyte

8. Love your sadness. It won’t last. from Danielle LaPorte.

9. Jessica Jackley: Poverty, money — and love, a TED Talk by the founder of Kiva.org. The last few minutes of this talk are amazing.

10. HSP That’s Me from Hannah Marcotti.

11. Coverflip: Maureen Johnson Calls For An End To Gendered Book Covers With An Amazing Challenge (IMAGES)

12. Daily Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “You can always find someone who thinks you’re an idiot. Speak up any way.”

13. The Forest House, East Sussex. I posted about this last week, but this week SF Girl by Bay shared even more of the pictures, along with a link to the original site with the full set. I want to go to there.

14. New paintings from Paul Bond. The way he describes Eleanor Dreams of a Miraculous Rescue, made me tear up. You see, I know the real Eleanor, who I called Danger Baby and now Danger Kid, because every time I see her, I want one just like her. I am going to happily settle for a print of this painting instead. Paul says this about it,

The resulting scene became a story of innocence. Of a child’s belief that she can always protect and nurture those things that she loves the most. And a prayer that the adult Eleanor’s of the world never stop cherishing whatever calls to them.

Eleanor_Dreams_of_a_Miraculous_Rescue_30x30_Oil15. Notes on being a hermit from Susannah Conway.

16. What’s in my pantry? from Kris Carr.

17. In Praise of Safety by Rachel Cole.

18. Depression Part Two from Hyperbole and a Half. And if that sounds like too much for you, read one of the funniest posts she ever wrote, Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving.

19. This is Water, a cool video using David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon commencement speech.

20. Wisdom shared by Justine Musk on Facebook,

“What makes the content you create awesome is that it’s a story told through your unique lens. It’s you, telling a story. It’s you not giving a fuck about anything but telling that story.” ~Paul Jarvis

21. Shared in Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday post, recipe for Strawberry Balsamic and Olive Oil Breakfast Cake on Food52.

22. Pumpcast News, Part 1 – The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I want to be friends with these people.

23. Sunni Chapman’s design site, Salty Olive Design. *sob* #itissobeautiful Does anyone have $7000 they’d want to give me so Sunni could build me a website?

24. Sad Cat Diary by Ze Frank

25. Reflections on the Road Back from Insanity on Elephant Journal by Kara-Leah Grant, who gives one of the best descriptions of yoga, ever.

It’s about connection. It’s about being open. It’s about being vulnerable and true and courageous.

It’s about yoga as a path to self-realization.

Not one blinding flash when we suddenly become enlightened.

But those small moments of self-realization that happen every time we step on the yoga mat. When another illusion drops away. Another samskara dissolves. Another insight arises.

That’s what it’s about. That’s what yoga as a path to self-realization means.

We realize, moment by moment, all that we are not. And one day, when all that we are not drops away… there we are.

26. Stop Caring What Others Think and Stand Up for Your Dogs on Notes from a Dog Walker. I say amen.

27. Another interview from The Conversation, Ashley Madekwe.

28. 3D Face Masks Created from DNA Found in Public Spaces. So freaky.

29. Celebrating Grandmas and Their Cuisine From Around the World.

30. Show Your Work! My Creative Mornings Talk from Austin Kleon.

31. Amy Seeley singing Beloved, frogs and bugs and maybe crickets singing in the background. No matter the version, the piano in this song wrecks me.

32. 7 Behaviors to Stop Tolerating in Others from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I would add that these are behaviors we should also attempt to stop doing ourselves.

33. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” ~Bruce Lee

34. your daily rock : come as you are

35. This wisdom from Thubten Chodron: Wishing others to be happy doesn’t mean we give them everything they want, because sometimes what they want can be harmful. Wishing them to be happy entails wanting them to be free from pain and loneliness.

36. Fat Shame, (btw: there is language, but I love what she has to say).

Something Good

dexterishome

I interrupt this regularly scheduled post for a Dexter update: He’s home! We got to bring him home last night. He’s feeling better, eating small bland meals while his tummy heals, taking medication to help the process, and his nose has stopped bleeding. He slept peacefully last night, went on a short walk this morning, and is taking a break right now in his bed after playing with me and his Little D. I’m so glad to have him home and that he’s feeling better, even as I remain aware that he still has terminal cancer.

Now I return you to your regularly schedule programming…

1. 25 Animals Who Can’t Stop Smiling on BuzzFeed.

2. This from Pema Chödrön, “Choosing to cultivate love rather than anger might just be what it takes to save the planet from extinction.”

3. The Cultivation of Compassion on Elephant Journal.

4. Simply Perfect Food on Be More with Less.

5. 40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative on BuzzFeed. Looking at these revealed that I am drawn to messy, booklined spaces.

6. Recipes I want to try: Avocado Pesto Pasta, Cinnamon Sweet Potato & Kale Delight, how to make chicken stock (and my mum’s chicken soup), Avocado Tempah BLT, and Melissa Clark’s Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes.

7. 10 Snack Foods That Have Gone Too Far on HelloGiggles.

8. This, from Henry Miller, “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself,” i.e. why I don’t need to travel to have a full life.

9. Dog Loves Cat: A Love Story in Letters, a photo essay.

10. This from Tara Brach, “We are born with a beautiful open spirit, alive with innocence and resilience. But we bring this goodness into a difficult world.”

11. 10 Mindful Folks on Instagram to Follow—& Uplift & Awaken your Every Day on Elephant Journal.

12. 10 Signs Your Friend is Toxic from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

13. This from Frederick Buechner, “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” This reminds me of my mantra (so much so, it’s kind of freaky, since I don’t remember ever hearing the his quote before, but it’s so similar): Life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible–keep your heart open.

14. Industrial-Edged Chic in Rotterdam. This was first shared by SF Girl by Bay. If I can’t have the converted waffle factory in France, I want to live here. The colors and materials and light of the kitchen are especially dreamy.

15. An Open Letter to Employers on Create as Folk. Amen, Laura Simms.

16. This from Geneen Roth,

Here is my thought for the day: when you’re tired, rest.

I know that sounds ridiculously simple, but I’ve been watching how difficult it is for me to stop. The adrenaline rush of pushing and moving and going past my limits is so familiar. Rest is radical. Stillness. Stopping. Taking five minutes a few times a day to stop everything, breathe, rest. Let out bodies catch up with themselves.

You’re allowed to stop. You’re allowed to rest. You’re allowed to be “unproductive” and not do one thing that looks useful to anyone else. See what happens.

17. This from Your Inner Pilot Light, “Come home, my dear. You keep looking for the answers in books, gurus, therapists, your best friend, or church. And sure- glean what you can from the outside world. But when you find yourself still confused and tired of seeking guidance out there, come back to me. I have the answers, if only you’ll get quiet and listen.”

18. This from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”

19. The Real You By Tara Sophia Mohr on Maria Shriver’s blog, shared first by Hannah Marcotti. In which Tara writes this,

Can you feel the one deep inside your chest,
who has existed forever?
Who has made a thousand journeys?
Who feels like a comet in the dark?
The inner filament?

I know, no one ever told you.
I know. It wasn’t the name you learned to write at school,
but that one is you.
That one is the real you.

20. Inspiring the Everyday, a blog with lots of yummy looking gluten free recipes, which I first read about on SF Girl by Bay.

21. your daily rock: make art

22. Susannah Conway’s new video on her About page. It’s authentic, real as dirt, reminds me of the videos she makes for her ecourses, communicates so clearly who she is and what she writes about.

23. 36 Awe Inspiring Online Gurus Reveal Their Fears And How They Overcame Them, originally shared by Dani of Positively Present (she’s one of the gurus).

24. Throw and Grow Confetti, also shared by Dani of Positively Present.

25. Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus.

26. A Magical Reading Life: Reading with Intention on the Mojo Lab.

27. From Erica Staab’s 40 Days of Deep Wisdom,

Breathe deeply.
Sink into your soul.
Allow whatever needs to surface to do so without judgement.
Instead of judgement try gentle curiosity.
What does your own deep wisdom have to say today?

28. Making Art Can Be Hard by Mati Rose.

29. In This Fragile Sacred Space, the wonderful Judy Clement Wall on Huffington Post.

30. This from Ram Daas, “we are all just walking each other home.”

31. Triangle Love DIY, a sweet way to design a journal cover, originally shared by Susannah Conway.

Something Good

1. The moment of highest leverage from Seth Godin.

2. I Know I Need This Now Because I Don’t Have Time for It and Enough, wisdom from Marianne Elliott.

3. Do People Know They’re Alive? a beautiful post from Laurie Wagner, and a question worth considering.

4. This quote from Kate Courageous, “Safety is an illusion we invoke, in order to grasp onto another illusion–control,” and this one, “Control is just another expression of fear, after all.”

5. Poetry (the good news and the bad news):

As you unfold as an artist,
just keep on,
quietly and earnestly,
growing through all that happens to you.

You cannot disrupt the process more violently
than by looking outside yourself for answers
that may only be found by attending to your innermost feeling.
~Rainier Maria Rilke

6. Have I told you lately how much I adore Anne Lamott? She posted this on Facebook this week:

But what I believe, and what my moderately left–and right–wing Christian brothers and sisters believe, is that Jesus preached a gospel of radical sacrifice, of giving away everything we possibly can–our time, our money, our prayers–to the have-nots, the same old/same old suffering people of this world, widows and whole nations.

Let us go in peace then, to be people of goodness and service and sacrifice. I keep trying to do better, like most people do, but I don’t have a magic wand. I am learning as I go; and boy, am I humbled by my failings. And “humbled” is always a great place to start anything, from being a better parent, writer, mate; or still, after all these years, trying to save the world.

7. From Pema Chödrön, (who I also adore):

Abandon All Hope and Fear: Hope and fear is a feeling with two sides. As long as there’s one, there’s always the other. This is the root of our pain. In the world of hope and fear, we always have to change the channel, change the temperature, change the music, because something is getting uneasy, something is getting restless, something is beginning to hurt, and we keep looking for alternatives.

In a nontheistic state of mind, abandoning hope is an affirmation, the beginning of the beginning. You could even put “Abandon hope” on your refrigerator door instead of more conventional aspirations like “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.”

8. He still doesn’t have a name, but boy oh boy is he cute, (by Allison Mae Photography–do yourself a favor and go to her site and see the rest of her pictures for a whopping dose of the super cutes).

9. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~Maya Angelou

10. Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized PossessionsThe two with just a single stuffed monkey are my favorites.

11. You will be called on to expand. And this is why we practice. a beautiful reminder from Danielle LaPorte.

12. 18 principles for highly creative living from Justine Musk.

13. Foster the Folk: Daria Marie & The purpose of plainness.

14. From SouleMama, baby chicks in teacups, because.

15. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ~Confucius, from The Daily Rock on 37 Days.

16. 40 Days of Deep Wisdom, another brilliant offering from Erica Staab, “a free eCourse designed to help you tap into your own inner wisdom.”

17. Shared on this week’s Positively Present’s Picks: Nine Creativity-Sparking Tips from Daring to Live Fully, How to Find Your Purpose on Think Simple Now, and 5 Easy Ways to be Nicer to Yourself on Pick the Brain.

18. Shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list: How I keep my (natural) beauty routine sane on Simple Mom, Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker, Sprouted Kitchen, Super Snack Suggestions from Kate Skinner Nutrition, and this gloriously weird dude and his crystals,

19. How to Make a Major Life-Changing Shift from Stuck to Unstoppable, an interview with Bridget Pilloud on Below Zero to Hero.

20. Oh my, how I adore Zooey Deschanel.

20. What I Know About Fear Now That I’m In My 30s, by Margaret Wheeler Johnson on The Huffington Post.

21. Girl Rising Montage, a documentary with a powerful message–Want to see change? Educate a girl.

21. This explains so much for me, “Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.” ~Shakti Gawain

22. Find the Others, from Ze Frank.

23. This Dad’s Stamp Of Approval Might Be The Best Thing You See On The Internet All Day. My wish is that every kid has parents like this, is loved like this.

24. I Don’t Like You, but I Want You to Want Me. from Positively Positive.

25. This quote, shared in this post by Hannah Marcotti, “And if you feel free, you feel empowered. And every negative emotion that exists—hear this—every negative emotion that exists is because there is some sense of loss of freedom somewhere in there.” ~Abraham

26. Austerity and the Arts — and George W. Bush on Pop Matters, in which author Josh Indar says,

In the end, I decided that doing art during a recession is about the same as doing art during any other time. You have to believe in it, be open to it, trust it, do it. You have to embrace it as blindly and fervently as a spinning Sufi if you want to get anything out of it.

27. My Amazon bestseller made me nothing on Salon, (in case you are a writer and not depressed enough by the previous article).

But the truth is, there’s a reason most well-known writers still teach English. There’s a reason most authors drive dented cars. There’s a reason most writers have bad teeth. It’s not because we’ve chosen a life of poverty. It’s that poverty has chosen our profession… Even when there’s money in writing, there’s not much money.

28. Susan Orlean on Writing, on Brain Pickings, (in case you are a writer, and that doesn’t change no matter how depressing those past two articles were), in which she advises writers that,

  • You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it.
  • You should read as much as possible. That’s the best way to learn how to write.
  • You have to appreciate the spiritual component of having an opportunity to do something as wondrous as writing. You should be practical and smart and you should have a good agent and you should work really, really hard. But you should also be filled with awe and gratitude about this amazing way to be in the world.
  • Don’t be ashamed to use the thesaurus. I could spend all day reading Roget’s! There’s nothing better when you’re in a hurry and you need the right word right now.

29. First Grade Proverbs.

30. Have Faith That Slowing Down Will Be Good for You, on Tiny Buddha.

31. The Big, Scary Thing I Do Every Week, from Life in Z-D.

32. Living with Less. A Lot Less. on the New York Times.

33. Wisdom from Geneen Roth:

If you are waiting to be thin or thinner, to be happy, happiness will elude you no matter what you weigh. If you are waiting to really begin your life until you have success or a relationship or the perfect place to live, you won’t get that sought after joy.

What we want most, what we think we can only have if we meet certain conditions, is to inhabit our lives. To love our sweet lives. And if you believe you need to get “there” to enjoy “here”, the problem is that when you get there, “there” looks very much like “here.” Because wherever you are, you are always here, where you are.

The challenge is to pay attention here. To be alive here. To learn how to wake yourself up here. It’s a habit, this learning to be awake and alive because we are so used to distracting ourselves and deadening ourselves. And we carry this old belief that it’s impossible to do it any other way. But that’s not true. Anyone can learn this. There is so much goodness here, right here, in the middle of our messy imperfect lives, right in this very second, that it turns out that here is, after all, as good as there. (Which is not to say that your body wouldn’t be more comfortable at a different weight or that you wouldn’t feel a sense of satisfaction in success).

When we pay attention, there is nothing missing. It’s all here. And you don’t have to wait to get it, you don’t have to achieve anything to be in it. Will you allow yourself to have the messy imperfect life you have? Will you stop, even if it’s just for today, waiting for your life to begin and realize that it’s already begun?

34. Andrea Gibson: “Letter To A Playground Bully from Andrea (age 8).”

35. Exit 245 – Titanium (David Guetta feat. Sia) [Official Music Video]. I’m a total sucker for glee club music.

36. More good stuff from Brain Pickings: Sorted Books Revisited: Artist Nina Katchadourian’s Playfully Arranged Book Spine Sentences, and The Adverb Is Not Your Friend: Stephen King on Simplicity of Style.

37. From my Inner Pilot Light,

What do you mean it will never happen? How can you say you don’t deserve it? Why would you ever think such things? Let me clear things up, my darling. It will happen. You do deserve it. I was just making sure you really wanted it. Do you?

Yes, please.

38. This quote from Satya,

The trouble with making space is that it might mean you do have to go somewhere unpleasant. You might realise that you really don’t like your job, or that you feel lonely. You might have to admit that you haven’t a clue about what you’re doing. This is the most common reason for keeping our lives nicely filled up. We don’t want to risk falling down into the gap.

40. Desire: A Story, a beautiful post from Sunni on The Daily Breadcrumb.

41. Quote from Oriah Mountain Dreamer, shared on Facebook last week,

It seems fitting tonight to offer a nod to St. Patrick’s Day with a quote from my friend John O’Donohue: “Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey,” from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

42. This quote from Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, “At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.”

43. The Still Point of the Turning World, a beautiful reflection on a heartbreaking but beautiful book on A Design So Vast. I really want to read this book, even though I know it will wreck me. Lindsey shares a quote in her post from the book,

This is precisely why grief, like love and any other foundational, deceptively simple human emotion or state of being, is the terrain of artists. And it is a writer’s even more specific job to give voice to loss in whatever ways she can, to give shape to this unspeakable, impermeable reality beneath all other realities.

44. How to do less and live more, from Kris Carr, in which she says, “lately I’ve been wondering if we’re busier than we really need to be.”

45. I’m actually not that busy. a good reminder, a dare from Andrea Scher. I’m in!

Something Good

A reminder about why I write this list: When I am feeling bad, I will often ask Eric to “tell me something good.” When I need something to hang on to, to make me feel better, something to show me that it’s not all bad. When I am in that dark hole, way down at the bottom, and the mean things with teeth are down there with me–”tell me something good.”

He’s really good at it, because even when all he can think of is “I love you,” it totally works. I mean, how great is it that the person that you picked and who said “yes” nineteen years ago, and knows you better than anyone, knows all the embarrassing and ugly stuff, continues to love you? He usually is able to give me a whole list when I ask him, followed by a hug and “what can I do for you, how can I make you feel better?”

So on A Thousand Shades of Gray, Monday’s feature is: Something Good. I like the idea of gratitude generating joy, and the opportunity my gratitude has to spread joy when I share the good things, and there are so many good things, and every Monday, I give you a list.

1. Binge Monsters and Chocolate Teapots from Sas Petherick.

2. Complaints and Requests: Two Halves of a Whole on Scoutie Girl, in which Tivi Jones says “Every complaint you have is a request you haven’t made.”

3. The Daily Loving Practice from Jen Louden.

4. “Writer Robert Olen Butler explains that the plot of any story is a yearning meeting a series of obstacles,” (from Your Daily Rock on 37 Days). This makes total sense to me.

5. “Rest does not need to hold hands with guilt. We do not have to pay for rest when the rest is over,” from a little bird told me, Brave Girls Club Daily Truth.

6. Quotes from Karen Salmansohn. “Be so full of love and light that none of what is going on outside of you can hurt you,” and “Let go of what you can’t control. Channel all that energy into living fully in the now.”

7. Bullies Called Him Pork Chop. He Took That Pain With Him And Then Cooked It Into This.

8. “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only robs today of its joy.” ~Leo Buscaglia

9. Journal Your Life: Writing Your Dreams Into Reality, a new ecourse from Susannah Conway. Registration opens tomorrow, and I am predicting it’s going to be an amazing class, (a pretty safe bet, since everything she does is all kinds of awesome). She writes a bit about her own journaling practice in this post.

10. Lost Generation, a poem with a twist.

11. Succulents Galore Etsy store, (link shared on Pugly Pixel, Links Loved). Also on Pugley Pilxel’s list this week, The Ink Nest Etsy store and a recipe for Baked Espresso Glazed Doughnuts and a CSS Patterns Gallery.

12. The Self-Acceptance Project from Sounds Truea FREE 12-week Video Event Series, beginning Monday, March 4, 2013. I probably already mentioned this, but it’s worth saying again, as this includes all the “big names.”

13. Swords into plowshares and hate mail into origami from Rachel Held Evans. Such a great idea.

14. From SF Girl by Bay’s Thoughts for a Friday listproof that people are weird and magic, Japanese floral artist Takaya-Hanayuishi, and beautiful photos by Lisa Warninger and Chelsea Fuss.

15. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: Learn How to Meditate and Finding Vivian Maier, the Official Movie Trailer.

16. Vulnerability is The Path, from the brilliant and compassionate Susan Piver (another great resource for learning to meditate is her Open Heart Project).

17. How to REALLY Find Your True Life’s Purpose… Once and For All! from Kute Blackson, in which he says,

All that’s needed is that you put one step in front of the next as you go boldly in the the direction of your heart. As you trust, then the universe will rise to your support. Your true life’s purpose is then not something you wait to find, but something that you live into. It is the invitation that life gives you to live each moment of each day as love.

18. may you feel connected + seen + adored by Jessica Swift, in which she talks about an amazing retreat she attended (that I envied from afar as I viewed the photos being posted to Instagram and Facebook that weekend by various amazing women), in which she links to a post Kelly Rae Robert’s wrote about how to set up such a retreat. I am predicting that my Courage Camp this summer (you know who you are, ladies) will be such an event.

19. This quote from Julia Cameron, “Creativity is a spiritual practice. It is always ongoing and changing, not something that can be perfected, finished, and set aside.” Amen.

20. What my life looked like before Self Love, a brave and vulnerable post from Dominee at Blessing Manifesting.

21. This quote from Mark Whitwell, (by way of the amazing Jessica Patterson),

To be yourself is very easy; you don’t have to do a thing. No effort is necessary, and you don’t have to exercise your will. But try to be something other than what you are, and you have to do many unnecessary things and struggle a lot. To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You are blessed with that intelligence; nobody need give it to you, and nobody can take it away from you.

22. 30+ of the most beautiful abandoned places and modern ruins i’ve ever seen, from Francesco Mugnai.

23. Sir Nicholas Winton, BBC Programme “That’s Life,” aired in 1988. This video is so sweet, and heartbreaking, and inspiring. Would that we could all do something so good and important with our lives.

24. This quote: “The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.” ~Henri Nouwen

25. Kid President. I shared his A Pep Talk from Kid President to You video already, but here it is again if you missed it.

Here’s a new video, The True Story of Kid President.

And another, which he made for Valentine’s day with two of my favorite singers, sisters Lennon & Maisy, (who are apparently now on TV, on a show called Nashville).

This was Lennon and Maisy’s first video, one of the sweetest, most beautiful things ever.

26. You can slow down. I mean REALLY slow. from Jen Lee.

27. This quote, from Geneen Roth,

I heard this from Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain (I love that book): each morning, do what he calls a “flight check”: remember that 1. You Are Safe. You are not getting bombed, invaded, destroyed. You really are safe, in this moment, now. Number 2. You have Enough. Enough food, enough clothes, enough warmth. And the last one: 3. You are Loved. By a cat or a dog. By your child. By your friend. By your spouse. You are loved and you have love in your life. We usually are reacting unconsciously to old patterns, many of which were about safety, enoughness, and love. We act as if we don’t have them, when, if you check in to the present, we realize we do. And then, it gives us a ground upon which the rest of the day can proceed with a different kind of knowing and relaxation. Try it now. Say those things to yourself. Take them in.

28. What you think about… from Hannah Marcotti.

29. May I Be Happy: A Conversation with Cyndi Lee on Body Image on Curvy Yoga. I love what Cyndi says about how yoga is being “sold” now that it’s gone more mainstream (“as a fitness and de-stressing program”),

We know that barely touches what yoga is really about and has basically nothing to do with the traditional benefits of yoga. But they don’t know how to sell yoga in any other way. And let’s face it, the audience for getting enlightened, or being honest and genuine, or living a life that is based on being connected to everyone and everything or talking about death as a way to appreciate our precious life, this audience is always going to be smaller than the “Let’s Get Fit in 30 days” audience.

30. Because it feels strange to end on an odd number, and because it’s totally something good in my life, my friend Carrie had a baby boy yesterday! Welcome to the world, Vincent. You are a very lucky boy, have an awesome family. (P.S. And just to warn you, I will probably be calling you Vinnie. Don’t tell your mom.)

Something Good

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1. Sas Petherick’s “Down To Basics” Pinterest board. I want this, all of it.

2. Do You Conspire Against Yourself? A hard truth from Jennifer Boykin on Life After Tampons,”YOU are at the heart of everything that happens in your life.”

3. A heartbreaking and beautiful post, written by Neil Gaiman about his beloved Shepherd, The Power of the Dog. Cabal (2003-2013).

4. This quote: “There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self.” ~Brian Andreas

5. From Pema Chödrön:

Here, Now, Always: This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always. We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.

6. This quote:

The experience of joy is not
necessarily religious in any conventional way.
But a distinguishing characteristic of joy
is the feeling people have that they have touched
the hem of something far beyond themselves.
~Ardis Whitman

7. A note to me from the Universe: “It was perhaps one of your greatest acts of love, Jill. Choosing to be alive at a time when so many live so deeply in the dark. And already things are looking brighter.”

And this one, “Sometimes the people who know, Jill, don’t know they know. And sometimes the people who don’t know, think they do know. But you can always tell who is who, because, of course, with knowing comes tolerance, and patience, and love.”

And this one, “Believe it or not, Jill, if it weren’t for your so-called issues, problems, and challenges, there’d be no other way you could become even happier, cooler, and more enlightened than you have ever been before.”

8. This one makes me laugh, “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.” ~Larry Eisenberg

9. The Challenge in Beginning, on Kind Over Matter by Jo Anna Rothman.

10. On Turning 45 by Lisa Congdon. I think I want to trade 45s with Lisa.

11. This quote from Mark Nepo:

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.

12. This is making me so happy right now, music from the band Washed Out. It’s categorized as “Dream Pop” on Rhapsody, one of my favorite genres. You might recognize this from Portlandia.

13. Inspiration Procrastination — are you a self-help junkie? on Simply Woz. Why yes, yes I am.

14. This video is so sweet: Lazaro Arbos, American Idol Auditions Chicago ~ American Idol.

15. The Surprise That Left Steve Harvey [and me] In Tears.

16. This quote from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche:

By connecting with basic goodness in this moment, we can live in an open, free, and unconditioned way. Without comparison, there is no jealousy or pride. There is simply a feeling of delight and brilliance. When we cower from this possibility, comparisons immediately arise and we are thrown into a whirlwind of insecurity and doubt.

17. 25 free romantic fonts from A Subtle Revelry.

18. By way of Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, Eight Healthy Comfort Foods (I am going to make some Amazeballs), and this video, which makes me so happy, (by way of Swiss Miss–check out the rest of their site, there’s some really cool stuff there–amazeballs!):

19. From From Positively Present Picks list: On Dog Hair from Bobulate, and from Huffington Post, Tina Fey: ’30 Rock’ Star’s Success Secret: ‘Say Yes’.

20. Moving Art channel on You Tube. Some really beautiful videos.

21. Some of my favorite women in conversation, connecting: Story Whispers, Sas Petherick with Hannah Marcotti, and The Illuminated Purposepreneur: Hannah Marcotti on Create as Folk with Laura Simms.

22. Scattered by Sas Petherick. (I’m apparently crushing hard on Sas, because she’s on my list three times this week).

23. From Brain Pickings: How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word and Can Money Buy Happiness? The Science of Materialism, Animated.

24. This quote: “Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time.” ~Shunryu Suzuki

25. This quote from Rumi:

Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

26. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh, Say “Wow” and Be Open to Change.

27. Living Things on SF Girl by Bay.

28. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday list, this quote: “Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” -Bhagavad Gita (so true…)

29. Judgement vs. Empathy by Alexis Yael on Kind Over Matter.

30. Some Days, a blessing from Erica Staab (and John O’Donohue).

31. Salon’s guide to writing a memoir.