Category Archives: Leo Babauta

Something Good

1. Message from my Inner Pilot Light:

In case you forgot, my love, The Universe doesn’t need you to be in control. I swear. It’s handled. All is well. You can relax now. Stop wrangling your life like it’s an unruly animal. Life doesn’t have to be that hard. Instead, set goals but release attachment to outcomes. Trust the process. Let go of the handle. Surrender to the river of life. Watch for signs. Let yourself be guided. Know that everything is a gift, every crossroads is divinely placed in your path, and the way will be made apparent, if only you pay attention.

2. Wisdom Notes for a Well-Fed Holiday from Rachel Cole. I signed up because as I’ve said before I love everything Rachel does. Meeting her, working with her was a pivotal moment in my life, and she’s creating some especially powerful stuff right now.

3. This poem says everything you need to know.

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now.
~David Whyte

4. This quote from Wayne Dyer: “Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”

5. The Willingness to Think Differently from Leo Babauta on Zen Habits.

6. Child’s Own Studio. This one has made my list before, but it’s worth another mention. I was reminded of it this week when someone posted a link to the studio’s Flickr gallery.

7. Positively Present’s 30 day gratitude photo challenge. I’m not doing it, but I wish I had time to because it looks really fun.

8. The Power of the Pause by Courtney Carver on Be More With Less. She really is one of my favorite bloggers. I want to grow up to be just like her.

9. 3 Destructive Work Habits That Can Drain the Energy Right Out of You on the Positivity Blog. I am guilty of all three in my paid work, even sometimes in my heart’s work.

10. Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction. This is so cool. Just another reason why you should help me raise $1000 dollars for Charity:Water. These kids could save us, but first we might need to save them = clean drinking water.

11.This quote from Reggie Ray:

Because it is who we are, spirituality is not something that we need to seek outside of ourselves. In a way, it is not even something that we can gain or attain. Rather, it is the depth and subtlety of our person and of our experience that we gradually uncover. Religious traditions are usually necessary for providing an understanding of our inborn potential and for showing us how to realize it. But when they claim proprietary ownership of that which we seek, they betray themselves and get in our way.

12. All. In. This. Together. Sandy, The Elections, and Everything After. by Ethen Nichtern.

13. I told you last week how much I love the blog 3x3x365. This post, all three of the entries, is/are so beautiful, each in their own distinct way.

14. Three amazing women, generously and bravely sharing their stories: In Praise of Zoloft by Rachel Cole, On anxiety, panic attacks and being brave by Andrea Scher, and this is my anxiety story by Kelly Rae Roberts.

15. 12 Unconventional Habits of Highly Productive People on Marc and Angel Hack Life. I’m not sure if this is a very good title, or maybe it’s just me–even the word “productive” makes me tired. I almost didn’t read it, but it’s such a good list. #1 is Meditate.

16. finding beauty amidst disaster from Positively Present. She ends with a really good list of beautiful things you can do.

Day of Rest

Today I find myself trying to maintain my awareness of impermanence without slipping into dread or despair. When we were walking the dogs this morning, Eric told me to turn around, to see where our four sets of feet walking together had left a path in the frozen grass. Our prints were so solid and clear, but I know that as soon as the sun warms this spot, they will disappear.

The change itself isn’t the problem — it’s fighting the change, fearing the change, not wanting things to be different. ~Leo Babauta

Because of the cold temperatures the past few nights, the Ash trees were rapidly dropping their leaves as they warmed in the morning sun. If you stood under one, they fell so fast it was like golden rain.

We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. ~Annie Dillard

So much about life is break your heart beautiful, but absolutely temporary. You could miss it entirely if you aren’t paying attention, or ruin it if you are holding on too tight. It’s why you have to stop, look directly and close when it’s there, and gently let it go when it goes. You have to open your heart and love what you love, forgetting completely in that moment to fear loss or anticipate grief.

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
~ Mary Oliver

Something Good

1. Finding Peace with Uncertainty by Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. Yes, please.

2. Videos from World Domination Summit 2012. Brene’ Brown’s isn’t here, but the others are worth watching. This one in particular, Scott Harrison talking about Charity:Water and his own personal redemption story, changed me. I challenge any one to watch it and remain unchanged by it–or at the very least realize that you could be doing more. It is a powerful story, important work, and the best news is that you can help. I have committed to giving up my birthday this year, (more on that once I get my campaign site set up).

3. How to Have Your Own Simplicity Summit on Be More With Less. This is going on my to-do list. And, because Courtney Carver was being particularly badass last week, here’s another one: Why You Can’t Measure Self Worth by Net Worth.

4. This quote from Pema Chödrön:

For one day (or one day a week), refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or overworking or spending too much time texting or checking e-mails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you’ve been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.

5. Around Here from Ali Edwards. A really great post and writing prompt idea.

6. 7 Simple Habits for an Awesome Start to Your Day on The Positivity Blog.

7. For cuteness sake, Gorillas very curious about a caterpillar. I especially love when the silver back tells a smaller gorilla to back off and give the little guy some space.

8. This quote from the Dalai Lama:

In order to carry out a practice—such as constantly watching the mind—you should form a determination, make a pledge, right when you wake up: “Now, for the rest of this day, I will put into practice what I believe just as much as I can.” It is very important that, at the start of the day, we should set out to shape what will happen later. Then, at the end of every day, check what happened. Review the day. And if you carried through for that whole day your morning’s determination, then rejoice. Reinforce further your motivation to continue in the same line. However, when you do your reviewing, you may discover that you did things during the day that are contrary to your religious values and beliefs. You should then acknowledge this and cultivate a deep sense of remorse. Strengthen your resolve not to indulge in these actions in the future.

9. Dealing with Exhaustion–Step 1 from Jennifer Boykin on Life After Tampons. When I read this, “it’s really really discouraging to want to change your life, but have absolutely no energy to do it,” I wanted to cry, it felt so true. Jennifer goes on to say, “So, if you’re exhausted today, stop. Make it a game, make it a challenge to figure out the absolute LEAST you can get by with doing for the next 30-days, and then try to shave some stuff off of that list.” Sounds like a plan!

10. How to be soulful, online and off by Jen Lee on Roots of She. I am loving everything Jen Lee does lately.

11. Two messages I really needed to hear, one from The Universe and one from my Inner Pilot Light.

Dearest Jill,
That thing you’re clinging to… let it go.
Breathe in, breathe out, surrender.
Your Inner Pilot Light

There hasn’t been one single day of your life, Jill, when the world
hasn’t been made a better place by your presence in it.
The Universe

12. How to make space for quality to show up in your life from Danielle LaPorte, in which she says, “possibility requires space to unfold.”

13. This email I just got from Netflix streaming: “The Office (U.S.) Season 8 is now on Netflix.” I watched the BBC version first, but loved them both, in different ways and for different reasons. I like stuff that makes me laugh, without the comedy being too mean–too dependent on someone being made fun of or tricked or hurt. This is one of my favorite scenes from the U.S. version, and because of it, any time I trip or fall or do something similarly Lucille Ball, I say “parkour! parkour!”

14. Shit Liz Lemon Says. This completely made my week, (except for the fact that NBC is selfish and I can’t embed the video in this post). My favorite Lemon lines are “What the what?” and “I want to go to there.”

Something Good

1. This quote from Pema Chödrön’s new book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change:

It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human.

2. Two posts from Lissa Rankin: Stop Striving. You Are Already Enough. and 6 Life Lessons I Learned from Blogging.

3. This heartbreaking video. This was going around on Facebook last week, and I finally watched it. This is the real shit. If you’ve ever loved someone and lost them (especially if it was to cancer), and had to keep living after, you will feel this man’s pain, and at the same time be reminded we are not alone.

4. The impossible choice by Sunni Chapman on Roots of She. With everything that’s been going on with my Dexter, this post was pure medicine for me. Especially this,

Oh Life, you are so kind. Even if you had taken him from me, you are still so kind. Because you gave me the love of this dear sweet being, for as long as he wants to be with me, and for a million other reasons, as well. Thank you Life, for this gift of seeing, and thank you Life, for this greatest gift of LOVE.

Thank you, Sunni.

5. The Burning House: What People Would Take if the House Was on Fire on Brain Pickings. I thought so much about this with the fires here this summer, love seeing what people would take, what is precious to them.

6. The Renegade Craft Fair in London on decor8. I would have spent so much money at this. And p.s., I love Holly’s latest blog design, especially the new header and link buttons.

7. 8 life lessons, gracefully learned – advice for my younger self on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Living Into My Words from Erica Staab. And not just because she quoted me, but because of things like this,

How often do we assume that we are the only ones struggling with something, to wrestle alone with our thoughts, fears and doubts only to hear when we finally gain the courage and bravery to share…“Me too.”

9. Famous Writer’s Small Writing Sheds and Off-The-Grid Huts. I felt physical pain looking at these, a tension and nausea in my body because my desire was so intense. I love these, want one someday.

10. Charles Bukowski, Arthur C. Clarke, Annie Dillard, John Cage, and Others on the Meaning of Life from Brain Pickings. So many great quotes here.

11. My Creative Life: Tammy Strobel, an interview with Susannah Conway. I am reading Tammy’s new book right now, so especially loved hearing her talk about her life as a writer. Susannah also shared a few links in her Something for the Weekend post (where I get at least one thing for this list each week) to people living in tiny spaces (Tammy lives in a tiny house) which are making me, once again, want to purge, downsize, declutter, and simplify.

Susannah also shared a link this week to this gorgeous video, The Most Beautiful Lies sung by Clare Bowditch and a few other lovelies.

And while we are talking about the brilliant Susannah Conway, here’s an interview with her on Sassyology.

12. 22 playful + productive + passion-stoking things to do, this September from Alex Franzen on Unicorns for Socialism.

13. The Only Way to Respond to Life, a sweet post by Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. “This moment is a ridiculously generous miracle.”

14. My dog: the paradox on The Oatmeal. Too funny, slightly naughty, and so true.

15. 5 Important Reasons to Slow Down Today on Pick the Brain.

16. 9 Ways to Get a New Venture Cracking from Jennifer Louden.

17. This poem from Rumi.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

18. This quote from the Dalai Lama.

Hardship, in forcing us to exercise greater patience and forbearance in daily life, actually makes us stronger and more robust. From the daily experience of hardship comes a greater capacity to accept difficulties without losing our sense of inner calm. Of course, I do not advocate seeking out hardship as a way of life, but merely wish to suggest that, if you relate to it constructively, it can bring greater inner strength and fortitude.

19. Humans of New York.

20. Our dreams don’t belong to us. They belong to the world. from Kelly Rae Roberts.

Something Good

I have a blogging schedule, but apparently the Universe has other plans. At about noon yesterday, mid-post, I suddenly lost all ability to connect to any site. It didn’t matter what device I tried, I could navigate the internet just fine, but was blocked from anything It was so frustrating. I had a whole other post and a half to finish, but when I finally, truly gave up checking at 7:30 last night, still nothing.

But magically this morning, as Eric suggested, everything was working again. He said something like “don’t worry about it, take the rest of the day off and it will probably be back up in the morning.” Don’t you hate it sometimes when your partner is so right?

I suppose the logic here is that it’s a Tuesday Monday. Those of us that work a Monday through Friday week in the U.S. were mostly lucky to have yesterday as a holiday, so today is technically Monday, the day when I most need a list of good things, so here it is…

1. I am reading this book next, and I can’t wait.

2. This post from Tara Brach, True Refuge: Presence in the Face of Dying. Holy wow, talk about perfect timing. In it, she shares the story of Pam, whose husband is dying.

“Pam,” I said, “you’ve already done so much . . . but the time for all that kind of activity is over. At this point, you don’t have to make anything happen, you don’t need to do anything.” I waited a moment and then added, “Just be with him. Let him know your love through the fullness of your presence.”

3. Artist Takes Every Drug Known to Man, Draws Self Portraits After Each Use, which makes me never want to take another drug.

4. The Good Life Project from Jonathan Fields. I like his reason for doing this almost as much as the project itself.

We are strongly committed to sharing the stories of women. When Jonathan’s daughter was about 5 years old, he became tired of reading her to sleep with fables where the boy comes riding in and saves the girl. He wanted to raise a strong, empowered, impassioned daughter with his wife. And this was sending the wrong message. Being a writer, Jonathan began to create his own stories (including one about a badass girl detective who solves cases around the neighborhood and just happens to save a few boys).

Fast forward to 2012, Fields daughter has grown up in a household fueled by non-stop creativity and entrepreneurship. She’s exposed to it everyday. But when Jonathan began looking for powerful stories to share with his daughter about women creating great businesses, bodies of work and movements, he became incredibly frustrated at the lack of coverage in mainstream media. In Jonathan’s words, it was “one giant dude-fest.”

So, he decided to take on the challenge himself. If larger media outlets weren’t telling the stories of amazing women, Jonathan would. Which is why one of the core values of GLP TV is a deep commitment to sharing the stories of and spotlighting strong, innovative, creative women. On this show, women get equal, if not more, time than men.

Jonathan introduced the latest episode, an interview with a professional climber, this way:

I don’t believe people who say they don’t know what they’re passionate about.

They do know. YOU do know.

What you want to be when you grow up has been in your head since you
were 6. At least the pieces, the core qualities that matter.

But we get so wrapped-up in pre-judging the perceived “non-viability” of the things that light us up that we tell ourselves they don’t actually light us up anymore. Because that’s easier than saying we know what makes us breathless, but refuse to act on it because we have no clue how to make it into a living? And we’re terrified of failing and being judged.

5. Catalyzing Creativity: 7 Playful Activity Books for Grown-Ups from Brain Pickings. These look really, really fun.

6. And a few more from Brain Pickings: How to Read Like a Writer and New Year’s Resolution Reading List: 9 Books on Reading and Writing. The first post says this: “Every page was once a blank page, just as every word that appears on it now was not always there, but instead reflects the final result of countless large and small deliberations.” Yes, yes.

7. The Pleasure Of, “simple things of everyday life.”

8. Are you hanging by a thread? on the Daily Love, by Danielle LaPorte. And yes, the answer is yes, but this makes me feel so much better about it.

9. Happiness is Uncovering What You Already Have from Leo Babauta on Zen Habits.

You have all you need for happiness, right now. You don’t need to change anything about yourself, or your life. You just need to see what’s already there.

10. To be filed under “how the heck did I miss this?!”: World Humanitarian Day (August 19th), the I Was Here project, and the Beyoncé song and video that went with it. *sob*

10. Tina Roth Eisenberg’s 8 Steps for a Creative Life.

11. This quote from Mark Nepo:

Transformation always involves the falling away of things we have relied on, and we are left with a feeling that the world as we know it is coming to an end, because it is.

12. And Trotter, the French Bulldog, just because she makes me smile. (P.S. I’m normally not a fan of dog costumes, but these are cute, and she looks like she doesn’t mind, might even like it). She has the sweetest face.

Something Good

it looks like it’s waving at us, doesn’t it? or offering a hug.

1. An Intentional Life by Leo Babauta on Zen Habits.

Many of us go through our days awake, but following patterns we’ve developed over the years. We are going through the motions, doing things at home, online, at work without much forethought.

Contrast this with the idea of an Intentional Life: everything you do is done with consciousness, fulfilling one of your core values (compassion, for example). Everything is done with a conscious intent.

2. This quote: At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~Albert Schweitzer

3. This quote: As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy

4. Anaïs Nin on Life, Hand-Lettered by Artist Lisa Congdon on Brain Pickings. When I was in my 20s, I read all of Anaïs Nin’s diaries. She was brilliant and strange, and I loved every word. These illustrated quotes are fabulous.

5. 40 Ways to Feel More Alive on Tiny Buddha.

6. Music is My Church by Sarah McLachlan on Huffington Post. Amen.

7. Six Simple Ways to Reduce Your Stress Levels, from Dumb Little Man: Tips for Life. Oh boy, did I ever need this advice this week.

8. You Are Beautiful Project. Sometimes, something simple can be powerful.

9. Community, A Structure of Belonging from Patti Digh on 37 Days.It is such a sign of hope in a world of pain that we take care of each other, still.” There is still time to give to the John F. Ptak Relief Fund. It always feels good to help someone who needs it, but when they are so grateful and full of love, it feels even better.

10. The next round of Telling True Stories starts on September 10th. I loved Laurie Wagner’s 5-week Writing ECourse, (see my open love letter to her and the class), loved, loved, loved Laurie’s wild, open-hearted, brave teaching, and if you are a writer looking to be inspired, to get wild, I think you will too.

11. Aimee Mann’s New Video. Aimee Mann’s music is brilliant, but a close second to that talent is her sense of humor–both of which are clear in this new video.

Something Good

this morning’s foggy walk

Today starts the sad countdown: this is our last Monday at the beach. Next Monday, we’ll wake up in Idaho and start the long final day of driving to get home to Fort Collins. The weather here at the beach the last few days has been foggy and rainy with very few sun breaks, and in a way, we are glad. A week of not so great weather at the end will make it easier to leave.

1. Reject the Allure of Stuff on Be More With Less by the badass Courtney Carver, (who I got to meet just last week). I feel right now like I need to read every word she writes, she’s so right on about everything I am feeling and longing for in my life, a clearing out and simplifying, a clarity of focus. Her “this over that” strategy is brilliant.

2. Flora Bowley has a blog! Already this morning, it made me cry twice. Her last two posts were amazing. She is doing some really good stuff right now, blooming big and bright and true, so I suggest you keep an eye on her.

Last week, when I was in Portland, I was walking to Kelly Rae Robert’s studio for a get-together pre-WDS, and saw a woman waiting for the streetcar holding Flora’s book, Brave Intuitive Painting-Let Go, Be Bold, Unfold!: Techniques for Uncovering Your Own Unique Painting Style, and told her “that’s a really great book.” Then on the main floor of Kelly Rae’s building, there’s a shop called Hunt & Gather that had lots of Flora’s paintings, so I was thinking about her, how amazing the book and how much I love her work, on the way upstairs. It was a magical surprise when I entered the studio and there Flora was! I hadn’t known she would be there.

3. Seventeen Magazine Gets Real by Liv Lane. Self-love, acceptance, and stepping into your own power.

4. Jen Lee’s conversation with Jonatha Brooke, Turning Points & No Regrets, from her Retrospective podcast series. Jonatha is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. In fact, just the other day, I was driving up HWY 101 with Steady Pull in the CD player having my own little dance party, flash mob of one. Both of these women inspire me, and together the inspiration was three times as powerful, (I never said I could do math).

5. A Profound Idea that Can Change Your Life by Jennifer Louden. This is a powerful post. I got to talk with Jennifer last week at WDS, tell her how much I adore her, thank her for all the good work she does. What I loved the most about it was that in person she’s exactly what I expected: full of energy, kind and generous, and so funny.

6. How to Not Care Too Much About What People May Think of You. I’m still thinking about the conversation Julia and I had about fear, how she said that at the heart of most fear is “what they will think of me,” so the timing of this post on The Positivity Blog was perfect.

7. Reflections on the World Domination Summit. There have been lots of really good ones, but some of my favorites so far are these:

8. A Letter from Your Calling by Tara Sophia Mohr on Tiny Buddha. “I weep for the joy you are missing out on. I weep because you aren’t getting to witness your immense strength and brilliance. I weep for what the world is missing out on too.” Yep, I needed to hear this, again.

9. Freedom on miss minimalist. Another one I needed to hear again. Between Miss Minimalist and Badass Courtney Carver, there’s hope for me yet.

10. Book Spine Poetry Vol. 6 on Brain Pickings. I absolutely love these.

11. Save the Lyric Theater Kickstarter project. You know how much I love Kickstarter, and this theater is near and dear to my heart and my home. I’ll be giving, and I hope enough others are compelled to do so as well.

12. Simplify from Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. It’s like the universe is sending me a message, a pretty direct and obvious one I think.

13. Things She Says: Things my Three Year Old Says. This project is awesome and adorable, and I dare you to look and not smile.

14. Movie Day with my mom. This is one of my favorite things, to rent three or four movies and spend all day watching them with my mom. We live 1200 miles apart, so I only get to do this about once a year, and tomorrow is the day. Woo-hoo!

15. And this quote: “The aim of all religions…is recovery of our real nature by awakening from the living-dream,” (Wei Wu Wei). I’m going to add that the aim of every life is the discovery of our real nature, our innate wisdom and compassion, to wake up to that.