Category Archives: Marianne Elliott

Something Good

watermelon

This is in my garden, seriously…

1. What do you do when the trolls come marching in?, wisdom from Paul Jarvis.

2. Behind the scenes of this post from Judy Clement Wall.

3. Finding the courage to transform your life, from Caroline Leon of Life is Limitless.

4. The Imaginary World Of…, Keri Smith’s new book.

5. This post on 3x3x365, especially the part about Burg the wonder dog.

6. He Had No Idea He Was Being Recorded Dancing With His Dog on Viral Nova. I bet Eric does this with the dogs when I’m not around.

7. What do you know for sure?, and The Creativity Conversation Continued, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

8. Lisa Congdon Words for the Day :: No. 35.

9. Wisdom from Marianne Elliott on Facebook, “Your home yoga practice is where you find out what really works for you, and what doesn’t. But, maybe above all else, home yoga is where you begin to rebuild your own trust in yourself, your body and your innate wisdom. And very little is more important, and more powerful than that.”

10. Wisdom from Rilke, (thanks for sharing, Sherry).

Sometimes blocked in,
sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you,
and the next, a star.

11. Good stuff from Be More With Less: Jumping Gently Into Minimalism, and If Life Were Simple, and especially this, How to Really Take a Day Off.

12. Be careful what you wish for… it just may come true!!! on Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy.

13. Love, Curvy Yoga – Episode Ten: An Interview with Susan Piver, Anna Guest-Jelley’s podcast, two of my favorite women talking about some of my favorite things.

14. Less internet – but more of what? from The Art of Simple.

15. What Your Random Jobs Have in Common on Create as Folk.

16. Conversation with Lisa Congdon (Art Inc.) on art & lemons in which Lisa talks about her new book, which I need.

17. 11 vegetarian snacks to help you avoid the vending machine, some yummy recipes.

18. lisa congdon: a studio visit and a brand new book from SF Girl by Bay, because you can never have enough Lisa Congdon.

19. Lower Your Standards from Jennifer Louden. I’m loving this particular series from her, a Queen Jenny Bee wisdom primer.

20. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “If we really knew how unhappy it was making this whole planet that we all try to avoid pain and seek pleasure — how that is making us so miserable and cutting us off from our basic goodness — then we would practice as if our hair were on fire.”

21. Take a Deep Breath from Mara Glatzel.

22. Truthbomb #605 from Danielle LaPorte, “You are the temple.”

23. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: this was a good week (& the philosophy behind it) and respite.

24. Simple Living – Does it Have to be All or Nothing? from Slow Your Home.

25. Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Brownies, a recipe from Kris Carr.

26. regular people answering hard questions: stacy morrison on Angiecat.

26. My embarrassing picture went viral on Salon.

27. Simply Genius: Nick Offerman Reads Reddit’s ‘Shower Thoughts’ on Hello Giggles.

28. Good stuff from Renegade Mothering: I thought age 4 would be better. I was wrong. and We don’t start with needles in our arms. (Watch her read this essay at BlogHer ’14. She said this about the experience,

So I was honored to be chosen as a 2014 “Voice of the Year” by Blogher for the piece “We Don’t Start with Needles in our Arms.” Here I am reading it. Moments before I went on stage, Arlo had a blow out and I thought maybe I had poop on my fancy clothes. As I changed him on the floor backstage I thought “This is some hardcore parenting right here.” Moments after I got off stage, people started coming up to me, telling me about their alcoholic brother mother sister friend student and I thought “What a life, all of this. Thank you.”

29. What’s In A Body Type? from Sunni Chapman.

30. Summer Homes + Anne Black Ceramics on decor8. The summer home made me *swoon*

31. The Lies Your Mind Tells You to Prevent Life Changes on Zen Habits.

32. This, everything about this. A picture that Susannah Conway took of her nephew on a visit to the circus. He’s a magical kid, and the image just screams “be yourself.”

33. A really important quote shared by Austin Kleon, about the difference between humor and depression.

34. What Your Junk Drawer Reveals About You, shared by Tammy on her Happy Links list.

35. Shared on Positively Present Picks: Why doing less actually makes you more successful (and how to do it without hurting your productivity) and 5 Ways to Live in the Moment.

36. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, The Life Changing Crackers, which led to The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread.

37. Wisdom I’ve shared before, but just saw it again and it’s worth resharing,

Six Words of Advice – by Tibetan teacher, Tilopa

Let go of what has passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t try to make anything happen.
Relax, right now, and rest.

translation by Ken McLeod
Quoted in Tara Brach’s guided meditation: Emptiness Dancing

38. More wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “It’s important to hear about this in-between state. Otherwise we think the warrior’s journey is one way or the other; either we’re all caught up or we’re free. The fact is that we spend a long time in the middle.”

39. Navigate Your Life: Sarah Selecky from Jennifer Louden.

40. Mary Lambert has a new album coming out in October!!! The first two songs that have been released are so so so so so good.

41. The Spiritual Art of Saying No from On Being, which ends with,

You say no so you can say yes. It’s sad in the way that all limitations are, but also liberating. You are human and finite and precious and fumbling. This is your one chance to spend your gifts, your attention, most importantly your love, on the things that matter most. Don’t screw it up by being sentimental about what could have been or delusional about your own capacity. Have the grace to acknowledge your own priorities. Prune and survive.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric, American Lakes trail

1. Wisdom from Ishita Gupta, “Every woman in the world knows what she needs in the moment. Whether or not she gives it to herself is the question.”

2. Yoga meets art — create a life you love, on Rebelle Society. I must be tender from my weekend of yoga teacher training because this made me cry. Another good one from Rebelle Society is 13 Awesome Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People, which gives one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read of ME.

3. A Map of the Introvert’s Heart by an Introvert on Medium. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t understand me, this might help.

4. Wisdom from Mary Oliver, because every once in a while I need the reminder,

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

5. Wisdom from Krishna Das,

We constantly limit ourselves with our emotions and our desires and our stories. When we identify with that stuff, we don’t experience what’s underneath it. The only way to move deeper into your own heart is by doing some kind of spiritual practice, regularly, over time. That’s what helps us experience real love and gives us the strength to manifest changes in our lives.

6. Fiercely Being from Jonathan Fields. This one is important. If you don’t click any other link on this week’s list, please follow and read this one. And just in case you are going to ignore my plea, here’s the line where I tear up and put my hand over my heart each time I read it because the beauty and truth are so clear it almost breaks my heart, “What if your metric was…’Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve.‘”

7. You Are Not Late, by Kevin Kelly on Medium, (thanks to Austin Kleon for sharing the link in his newsletter).

8. the lively show: radical sincerity & mental health advocacy with esmé weijun wang, (originally shared by Pugly Pixel).

9. Alone in the Wilderness, a documentary that “tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park…covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness.” We got this from the library a few times and loved it. Someone has now made the full film available on YouTube.

10. Good stuff from Seth Godin: This is ours and The easy ride.

11. Why scales make you binge-eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

12. I love Lisa Congdon’s Words for the Day. These are some of recent my favorites: No. 22, No. 23, and No. 30. And also from Lisa, a beautiful post about marriage, On Marriage :: A Year Later.

13. Good stuff from Jeff Oaks: Habit and Nothing.

14. What Makes You Feel Free? by Saundra Goldman, (link shared by Stephanie).

15. A Bank Uses Its ‘ATMs’ To Say Thanks To Regular Customers In The Most Personalized and Heartfelt Way. Hint: It wasn’t Bank of America.

16. Be Full of Yourself, from Julie Daley.

17. Choose love, and have it be that simple from Sandi Amorim.

18. Rekindle Your Love for Simplicity from Be More With Less.

19. 31 Benefits of Free-Writing from Cynthia Morris.

20. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Only seek to be more of yourself.”

21. Wisdom from “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers),” shared by Sandi Amorim,

This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

22. African cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time.

23. Urban Jewelry: Lace Street Art by NeSpoon shared on This is Colossal.

24. 10 Ways to Recognize Orthorexia on New York Magazine.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, (read the full piece here),

Bodhichitta exists on two levels. First there is unconditional bodhichitta, an immediate experience that is refreshingly free of concept, opinion, and our usual all-caught-upness. It’s something hugely good that we are not able to pin down even slightly, like knowing at gut level that there’s absolutely nothing to lose. Second there is relative bodhichitta, our ability to keep our hearts and minds open to suffering without shutting down.

Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors — not warriors who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic undistorted energy of bodhichitta. We have many examples of master warriors — people like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King — who recognized that the greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds. They devoted their lives to helping others understand this truth. There are also many ordinary people who spend their lives training in opening their hearts and minds in order to help others do the same. Like them, we could learn to relate to ourselves and our world as warriors. We could train in awakening our courage and love.

26. I took this quiz, Which Jung Archetype Best Describes You? and got “The Caregiver.”

Jung identified this archetype in many goddesses and female role models throughout history. You’re the mother figure: the selfless caregiver and helper. Everyone comes to you for advice. You truly love others as yourself and your greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. You manifest compassion and generosity. A Jungian psychologist would tell you to be careful not to be taken advantage of and never let yourself play the martyr.

27. Lacy M. Johnson on The Art of Mourning, on Essay Daily.

28. A young man asks a homeless man to borrow his bucket, what happens next will burst you into tears.

29. I think I fucked this up from The Bloggess.

30. Be Your Own Guru, a Good Life Project Jam Session, another really good thing from Jonathan Fields.

31. Courageous Company with Anna Guest-Jelley: Why Wearing a T-Shirt Might Have Changed My Life.

32. 10 Smarter and Less Stressful Ways to Get Your Daily Work Done on the Positivity Blog.

33. 16 Of The Most Magnificent Trees In The World on Bored Panda.

34. Good stuff from Zen Habits: Inhabit the Moment and How to Master the Art of Living.

35. Doing everything wrong: Shame, truth-telling, and writing it out on Visible and Real. This line especially, “And if I am not Worthy, I move in one of two directions: Complete Shutdown or Overperforming. {Either end of this pendulum is exhausting.}” Word.

36. One of my favorite projects is Humans of New York. Brandon has a new book coming out. He says about it,

Little Humans is coming out in almost two months, and the first hardcopy has just arrived! It is awesome. Your child is guaranteed to giggle, point, and cheer. And if test readings are any indication, there is a 38.53% chance you will cry. It comes out October 7th — very excited about it.

37. Note from the Universe,

The absolute, most sure-fire way of physically moving in the direction of your dreams, Jill, on a day-to-day basis, without messing with the “cursed hows,” is living them, now, to any degree that you can.

38. Really good stuff from Medium: After (one of the best things I’ve ever read about the loss of a pet), and My Cousin is Not a Hero.

39. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

40. Dealing with anger before it deals with you from Paul Jarvis.

41. A Blessing from Ronna Detrick,

When you have questions, look to love. When you have doubts, turn toward love. When you wonder about next steps, let love be the deciding factor. And when you fear how it will all work out, trust in love.

I know it feels fearful to risk (and love) in these ways. I know you long for the certainty that the love you give will offer you the same in return. And I know that without guarantees, without promises, and without thought for your own safety, you will love anyway. It’s who you are. It’s what you do. And it’s the story for which you are known and named.

Speak. Risk. Stand. And love and love and love.

Something Good

1. I already shared this yesterday, but it’s so good, I want to make sure you didn’t miss it, NPR First Listen: Tycho, “Awake,” a beautiful album.

2. Don’t Quit, from the Fearful Adventurer.

3. Sou Fujimoto’s Tree-Inspired Tower Sprouts Balconies Like Leaves.

4. finding yourself: a workbook from Positively Present.

5. 8 Lessons from Small Space Living from Be More With Less.

6. Interview with folk rock singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke.

7. Unloved.

8. Wisdom from poet Andrea Gibson, “Everyone’s chest is a living room wall with awkwardly placed photographs hiding fist-shaped holes.” And because I love it and it’s been awhile since I shared it, more beautiful from Andrea, “A letter to my dog: exploring the human condition.”

9. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

Generally, we go through life with little awareness of what we are doing, let alone the peaceful and joyful nature of our lives. We mostly think about the past and dream about the future while missing what is happening right now, in this moment. If we are not aware, we are not fully living. We are like sleepwalkers or zombies. To be alive and healthy, we need to wake up. In Sanskrit, the root of the word Buddha is ‘‘to be awake.’’ That is what true healing is, an awakening. As with a flower growing up from the ground and opening its petals in the sunlight, the process is generally quite gradual. Sometimes our spiritual growth seems slow and uneven. We can take a step backward or be filled with all sorts of doubts. We need to remind ourselves that the healing path is the right one to take.

10. desiderata on Chookooloonks, Karen Walrond’s blog, sharing the poem of the same name, which reminded me of this line, “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” She also has a great list of links on her latest “This was a good week” post. My favorites were these wedding photos (this whole site, all his pictures are magic, the way they capture love and relationship, humanness and connection), and this is 50, (which is only four years away for me!).

11. Wife And Mother: “You’d Never Suspect My Junkie Past” from NPR. The last lines are amazing…

I feel no shame when I say I’m a recovering addict. The battle has made me a warrior. As someone lucky to survive, I want to tell others not to give up. Life can be pain and suffering, but numbing that pain also numbs the love that heals it.

12. Note from the Universe, “Jill, fear just means you’ve forgotten how deeply you’re loved, how safe you are, and that happiness will return, like you’ve never known it before.” Yes, please.

13. 4 Reasons to Love the Body You Have on the Yoga Journal blog.

14. Jen Lemen still posts on Hopeful World, but I miss her old blog. I ran across this part of a poem from her, saved as a note on my Facebook page.

Love Will Find You Out
At the end of your unraveling,
you will look down and see your own feet
that have carried you so, so far
and you will decide for once that it is okay
to sit down
to rest
to hold out your hands
to lift up your head
to open your heart
to the possibility that you were never alone after all
not for one minute

That Love was right there
in her terrible silence
not quite sure how to say it so you would believe her
that you were a thing of rare beauty on the earth
That She still has your macaroni necklace
That She’s been following you around,
making maps of all the places you’ve been lost,
so you’d know how to get back when the time came
to put it all to rest.

See what I mean?

15. Read this, next time you want to give up on making a difference from Marianne Elliott. This is an older post, but it’s worth rereading — again and again.

16. Wisdom from Kris Carr on Facebook,

It’s possible to seek from a place of fullness rather than lack, excitement rather than fear. To know that even though you may be confused about a particular topic, you’re not incapable.

You’re not a project to be checked off and accomplished. Your deep capacity to heal and grow is always present. Always. You don’t need a book or a doctor or a shaman to guide you. You just need to know how to go home to yourself on a daily basis.

17. How Many Of These Do We Get? by Justine on Allowing Myself.

18. Intimate portraits spotlight shelter animals and the humans who love them, an article about one of my favorite projects, Why We Rescue.

19. 32 Truths Every Adult Should Know on Elephant Journal. This list made me giggle.

20. Wisdom from Shanti Zimmermann, “I have yet to meet a body that doesn’t love its person.”

21. Less show. More soul. from Jonathan Fields.

22. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte, “Art is about self expression. Sharing art is about being of service.”

23. Sometimes you don’t need a budget from Seth Godin.

24. From Brave Girls Club,

Your heart knows what step to take next. It may not know what step to take after that, but it does know exactly what to do next. Take it day by day. Take the step today that your gut is telling you to take. Tomorrow, take another step. Sometimes….all we can do is what we can do today. Sometimes all that we can do is what we can do in THIS MINUTE. Please don’t get caught up in the feeling of overwhelm that comes when we try to figure out what to do next month, next year, in 5 years. Sometimes all we know is where we are supposed to be moment by moment, and that is 100% ok.

25. These 16 Fluffy Animals Will Make You Say Awww on Bored Panda.

26. Newsletter from Mara Glatzel, “The Only Thing on My Bucket List this Year.”

27. Weightless Again: In her suicide note, my sister spoke of not wanting to be a burden on Purple Clover, which ends this way,

We play triage all the time, tending to the sickest one first and hoping that death doesn’t overtake the rest. We take each other at our word: I assume you’ll tell me if you’re so down you want to die, and I’ll try and convince you that the weather will change if you wait long enough. For her I think it never stopped raining.

28. It’s Too Much For Them: Grandmothers Reading Lyrics To Beyonce’s New Song. I am also confounded by these lyrics, so this made me laugh.

29. Wisdom from Vincent Van Gogh, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

30. This poem by Kasey Jueds, first shared with me by Laurie Wagner and recently shared again by Sherry Richert Belul, reminding me of why I say my practices are writing, yoga, meditation, and DOG.

Claim

Once during that year
when all I wanted
was to be anything other
than what I was,
the dog took my wrist
in her jaws. Not to hurt
or startle, but the way
a wolf might, closing her mouth
over the leg of another
from her pack. Claiming me
like anything else: the round luck
of her supper dish or the bliss
of rabbits, their infinite
grassy cities. Her lips
and teeth circled
and pressed, tireless
pressure of the world
that pushes against you
to see if you’re there,
and I could feel myself
inside myself again, muscle
to bone to the slippery
core where I knew
next to nothing
about love.
She wrapped
my arm as a woman might wrap
her hand through the loop
of a leash-as if she
were the one holding me
at the edge of a busy street,
instructing me to stay.

31. Wisdom from Cynthia Occelli,

For a seed to achieve it’s greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, it’s insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

32. Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye “When Love Arrives.”

33. When the dog stays at home alone.

 

Something Good

image by eric

image by eric

1. Telling True Stories with Laurie Wagner. One of the aspects of story telling that I value most is when a writer digs into the material of their real lives and shares from that true and beautiful place. If you’re wanting to strengthen that vibrant muscle of honesty in your own story telling, consider signing up for Telling True Stories, a 5-week online writing course which starts on March 3rd. I recommend this course and this woman with my whole heart.

2. Kayden + Rain, a little girl experiences rain for the first time.

3. A 21 Day Open Heart Immersion: Live in Love, another amazing offering from the brilliant and kind Susan Piver.

4. The Smoke and Mirrors Behind Wheat Belly and Grain Brain on Forks Over Knives.

5. Neil Gaiman reads Green Eggs and Ham.

6. Cool stuff from Viral Nova: Sometimes The Simplest Photos Are The Most Eye-Opening. These Ones Say So Much. and This Fairly Normal House Is For Sale In The UK. But It’s What’s Out Back That Has Everyone Talking. and I Couldn’t Believe What This Guy Was Making For His Unborn Child. But By The End… WOW.

7. I love Kid President.

8. 22 Supremely Perfect Photobombs.

9. Campers save dog lost in woods and save him a second time when his owners abandoned him on Dog Heirs.

10. In Just 2 Minutes, This Video Will Make You Feel Silly For Ever Having Doubted Yourself on Huffington Post.

11. A Funny Video That Makes You Never Want To Fall For This Natural Lie Again from Upworthy.

12. What Career Should You Actually Have? a quiz from BuzzFeed. (I got “writer”).

13. The (delicious) truth about getting older from Susannah Conway on her 40th birthday. She shares a series of posts by other women as well. Some of my favorites were top 10 reasons why being 40-something rocks and What 41 years have taught me and You are beautiful and the art of getting older, posing with snakes + playing with fire.

14. From Good Life Project, “We Asked 29 Change-Makers One Simple Question. Their Answers Would Transform the Way We Live Our Lives. Here’s What They Told Us…”

15. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Listening to talks about the dharma, or the teachings of Buddha, or practicing meditation is nothing other than studying ourselves. Whether we’re eating or working or meditating or listening or talking, the reason that we’re here in this world at all is to study ourselves. In fact, it has been said that studying ourselves provides all the books we need.

Maybe the reason there are dharma talks and books is just to encourage us to understand this simple teaching: all the wisdom about how we cause ourselves to suffer and all the wisdom about how joyful and vast and uncomplicated our minds are—these two things, the understanding of what we might call neurosis and the wisdom of unconditioned, unbiased truth—can only be found in our own experience.

16. 10 Life Coach Tips For A Killer 2014, a list from Rachel Cole.

17. 25 Things You Need to Stop Wasting Time On from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

18. Ron Swanson’s 7 Best Statements About Life from Hello Giggles.

19. collaborations with nature on random weaving. So beautiful.

20. The Risks Worth Taking from Austin Kleon.

21. “To love another person is to see the face of God.” —Jean Valjean, Act II, Les Misérables, love scripts from Alexandra Franzen.

22. Are you hanging by a thread? from Danielle LaPorte. I need to hear this so badly this week (month, year…).

23. The Happiest Animal on Earth.

24. Hopeful news flash! We can’t beat ourselves up into being peaceful. So please stop. from Susan Piver.

25. your daily rock : let kindness rule and your daily rock : let your self be awed.

26. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

27. An Open Letter To Anyone Thinking About Trying Yoga on MindBodyGreen.

28. Wisdom from Dallas Clayton on Facebook.

image by dallas clayton

image by dallas clayton

Something Good

ericmoonoverriver02

image by Eric

1. Loyal dog won’t forget his best friend on Dog Heirs. *sob*

2. House Rule: In These Bodies We Dance from Brittany, Herself. I love the picture at the end. This is what joy looks like.

3. mary jo hoffman :: still from Lisa Congdon. So beautiful.

4. Meet Darcy, The Most Famous (Flying) Hedgehog On Instagram from Bored Panda. So cute.

5. 27 Days: Writing Prompts to Grow Your Powers, for FREE! Here’s an excellent gift you can give YOURSELF for the holidays, 27 Days: Writing Prompts to Grow Your Powers, Laurie Wagner’s 27 Day writing prompt program delivered daily to your inbox. It’s a simple way to keep your writing practice alive during the holidays, and an excellent opportunity to start a practice if you don’t have one. You’re welcome.

6. Architect Bypasses Mortgage Payments, Builds a Tiny Home on My Modern Met. My obsession with tiny houses is not that I want to live in one, (my house is only a little over 1000 square feet, so I’m in a pretty small space already), but that I want something like this in my backyard, to use as a studio, class, guest space.

ericmoonoverriver7. 9 ways to cope with loss during the holidays from Positively Present.

8. Maybe there is really only ONE story in life – the story of learning to be real on Unabashedly Female. (P.S. I haven’t watched the video at the end).

9. How ‘hygge’ can help you get through winter.

10. Mom’s memory lives on in sweet dad, daughter photos.

11. ‘Tis The Season To Be… Mindful on Huffington Post.

12. From Patti Digh: your daily rock : go forward and your daily rock : tell it like it is and your daily rock : burn those jeans! and your daily rock : live like you are dying.

13. Nathan loves Bella….(sweet little boy loving a special pitbull), a CNN iReport.

ericfrozenriver02

image by Eric

14. what if girls were rewarded for being authentic instead of being thin? from Justine Musk.

15. Indoor S’mores on Dessert for Two. Oh my…

16. ‘Christmas Jammies’ Rockets Holderness Family To Viral Video Fame on Huffington Post.

17. 139. BRENÉ BROWN: The Woman in the Arena from Zen Pencils.

18. Magical Photographs Follow the Lives and Friendship of Two Argentine Girls on Feature Shoot.

19. What I’ve Been Reading: 2013, a great list from Marianne Elliott.

20. The Daring Interview Series: Meet Elizabeth Gilbert from Brene’ Brown.

21. When is the best time to create? from Paul Jarvis.

22. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Ways To Scare Your Friends & Family Away From Yoga (Funny) and Want To Find Your Purpose But Have No Idea What It Is? Read This.

23. Stuff to think about from Austin Kleon: On the “death” of blogging and Forget setting goals and commit to a process.

image by Eric

image by Eric

24. The Year’s Best Books on Writing and Creativity from Brain Pickings.

25. Gift to the Soul: The Space of Presence, Tara Brach on Huffington Post, in which she says,

When we’re speeding along, we violate our own natural rhythms in a way that prevents us from listening to our inner life and being in a resonant field with others. We get tight. We get small. We override our capacity to appreciate beauty, to celebrate, to serve from the heart.

26. Want To Quit Blogging? Read This First! from Gala Darling, in which she says,

A blog isn’t just a blog: it is a chronicle of your life, and just like your soul, it is constantly evolving.

27. Short answers to big questions from Alexandra Franzen.

28. 10 Artists You Should Have Known In 2013 from NPR.

29. 5 Lies You Were Told about Grief and A Self-Made 12-Step Program for Living an Authentic Life from Rebelle Society.

image by Eric

image by Eric

30. Wisdom from Kris Carr on Facebook,

Fear contains powerful messages. When we’re courageous enough to be with what scares us, we can awaken our intuition and create a new path for healing. Whether you’re worried about getting sick, you’re currently dealing with a health issue, or you’re scared and struggling in other areas of your life, don’t judge your fears, invite them to tea.

It’s common to belittle our fears and try to pre-maturely cleanse them away. But just because we’re afraid, doesn’t mean we’re toxic or failing or falling off the spiritual wagon. Fear is one of the many colors in our emotional palette, and it’s often there for a reason. There’s nothing weak or less evolved about being frightened. And guess what, you’re not alone. We’re all scared. No one is fearless.

31. Wisdom from Rumi,

Be crumbled.
So wild flowers will come up where you are.
You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.
Surrender.

32. Family Gatherings: The Ultimate Mindfulness Training Ground from Zen Habits.

image by Eric

image by Eric

33. Me, the universe, and Javier Bardem from Judy Clement Wall.

34. 3 Ways to Prepare for Career Change on Create as Folk.

35. All feelings are mutual on Superhero Life.

36. 15 Best Photos of the Day of 2013 on Tree Hugger.

37. Wisdom from Rilke,

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.

38. Teachers, writers, speakers: On confidence and owning your true authority from Susan Piver.

ericsunriseriver

image by Eric

39. Wisdom from Cheryl Strayed,

Nobody’s going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things have befallen you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.

40. 34 Examples of Installation Art That Don’t Suck on Your Daily Media.

41. How to Visit Your Family Without Going Crazy on Purple Clover, which shares these quotes,

“How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?” asks Stanley Kunitz in a poem.

and

Thomas Merton, the great Benedictine monk, captured this paradox succinctly. “Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and heart has turned to stone,” he wrote.

42. An Elderly Couple Took The Same Photo Every Season. But Nothing Could Prepare Me For The Last One on Viral Nova.

image by Eric

image by Eric

43. 8 Ways to Encourage a Meaningful New Year on Be More With Less.

44. In Marriage, Beware of Big Boxes on Modern Love from The New York Times.

45. Fortyhood: Why You’re Too Old to Have a Baby After 40 on Huffington Post.

46. Wisdom from Roy L. Smith, “He who has not Christmas in his heart
will never find it under a tree.”

47. friday’s confession: I’m slowing down. from Tiffany Han.

48. Belka (Alaskan Malamute/Siberian Husky), our 20 day old pup howling.

49. Shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list: Life from One Foot Up by Derek (which made me realize Fray is back online), and Quinoa & Brussels Sprout Salad recipe, and Favorite Job Interview Questions, and this video, ‘Female Freedom Has an Expiration Date’ – Being 35 and Single,

50. This Post Secret card.

51. The Answer to All Your Questions…the First Four Words You See Describe You on Elephant Journal. My words were passionate, peaceful, thoughtful, and genuine.

52. 10 Things You Can’t Do AT CHRISTMAS While Following Jesus and 10 Things You Can’t Do While Following Jesus from The God Article.

53. What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter from In the Parlor, which says,

So whatever you believe about homosexuality, keep it to yourself. Instead, try telling a gay kid that you love him and you don’t want him to die. Try inviting her into your church and into your home and into your life. Anything other than that simply doesn’t matter.

54. Homage To Rae Kline, My First Yoga Teacher on Recovering the Body.

55. A Bundle of Joy and Peace: 21 Inspiring Quotations from Thich Nhat Hahn from Always Well Within.

56. Wisdom from Sakyong Mipham, “Open hearts, kindness, and care – these are our most precious gifts.”

57. More wisdom from Rumi, “Don’t think the garden looses it’s ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”

image by Eric

image by Eric

58. iPersonic Personality Test. My result was “The Good-natured Realist” which was pretty accurate.

59. 10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For.

60. I Don’t Know Where The Rich People Are Who Lived Here, But What They Left Behind Is Frightening on Viral Nova.

61. Heartwarming Photos of SF Zoo’s New Baby Gorilla and Her Doting Grandmother from The Modern Met. There is almost nothing cuter than a baby gorilla.

62. 12 Easy Ways to Make Life Simple Again from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

63. “In an abundance of caution” from Seth Godin.

64. Truthbomb from Danielle Laporte, “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”

samhikinggreyrock06

image by Eric

Something Good

arterylobby1. A Photo Essay: Castle Crags on Rowdy Kitten, a beautiful act of remembering.

2. patterns + running + 10 hours of tv from Jessica Swift, a good reminder about the creative process, about balancing your effort with ease.

3. Obesity epidemic? Try hunger crisis. from Nourishing the Soul, which ends with “if we can recognize what it is we are truly hungry for, we might just be able to satiate ourselves.” Word. If you want more on this, you can always look to Rachel Cole, the Hunger Goddess.

4. On determining your worth from Susan Piver.

5. The Habits Of Supremely Happy People on Huffington Post.

6. your daily rock : cut yourself some slack and your daily rock : we are in this together.

7. Blessedly Imperfect on Painted Path.

arteryexit8. Things to remember on Superhero Life.

9. And I Know It’s Hard on Museful Things by Ken Robert.

10. I’m a F*cking Unicorn. (Or 10 Things to Do When You Get Fired for the First Time.) from Elephant Journal. I feel like I should start reading #6 to myself every morning and see what happens.

11. What, You Don’t Need Me? from Jonathan Fields. We should all aspire to this, no matter what sort of work, parenting, living we do.

12. Stop Juicing: It’s not healthy, it’s not virtuous, and it makes you seem like a jerk on Slate.

13. Good stuff from Seth Godin, The sound of confidence and #BlackFriday = media trap.

14. Program helps low-income elderly and disabled keep their pets on Today@CSU. This seems like a win-win situation, students away from home missing their own dogs or unable to have their own dog while in school and people with dogs who need help caring for them.

15. Things for My Stuff by Jason Good, one of the funniest boy bloggers around.

16. Florida State University AcaBelles – Royals (opb. Lorde).

17. Ward Miles – First Year, a dad films premature son’s miraculous first year. Of course the subject matter pulls at your heart strings, but I’m really sharing this because it’s a beautifully made film.

18. Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often. Seriously people, Kid President is one of the best things e v e r.

19. Good stuff from Buzzfeed: 38 Best DIY Food Gifts, and 29 Adorably Tiny Versions Of Normal-Sized Things, and 23 Signs You’re A Morning Person, and What It’s Like Being A New TA.

20. Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend, a really great TED Talk.

21. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Shaved Brussel Sprout Slaw with Pink Grapefruit and a Maple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe), and Winter Recipes – salted caramel candies + kale chips + a sweet potato salad, and The Art of Getting Started Assignments, and Why Creative People Sometimes Make No Sense, and Our American Revolution.

22. The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel from Danielle LaPorte, in which she says,

You can’t contract your way to freedom.
You can’t punish your way to joy.
You can’t fight your way to inner peace.
The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.

Oh, snap.

23. From Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links list, My Uniform Life (in Five Easy Steps) and Blue Deer Forest Web Hosting and Blogging Services.

24. Everything I know about rest, I learned the hard way from Marianne Elliott.

25. The Necessary Art of Subtraction on Zen Habits.

26. From Positively Present Picks list, Essential Thanksgiving from The New York Times.

27. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Signs You’ve Found Your Calling and Yum! Holiday Stuffins That Will Knock Your Socks Off (recipe).

Letterpress from Impress Studio

Letterpress from Impress Studio

28. Kat McNally is hosting Reverb13 (I have two prompts in the series) and has a new website.

29. The New Black Friday with Sherry Richert Belul.

30. The True Meaning of Non-Attachment and How It Sets You Free from Always Well Within.

31. “Boredom is Rage Spread Thin.” Paul Tillich from Jeff Oaks.

32. 64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief.

Letterpress from Impress Studio

Letterpress from Impress Studio

33. Wisdom from Lao Tzu,

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is acquired.
In pursuit of wisdom,
every day something is dropped.

34. This Dog Can Stack Anything On His Head. You’ll Die Laughing At What His Owner Has Tried. A dog in a hoodie gets me every time.

35. The Art of Cleanup: Ursus Wehrli Playfully Deconstructs and Reorders the Chaos of Life on Brain Pickings.

36. 7 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Everyone Else from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

P.S. Spirit Road, Take Us Home: 100 Animal Card Readings to Usher in the New Year! a great offering from Rachael Maddox that I forgot to tell you about!

Self-Compassion Saturday: Marianne Elliott

Marianne Elliott is a writer, human rights advocate, and yoga teacher. Trained as a human rights lawyer, Marianne worked in New Zealand, East Timor, and the Gaza Strip prior to her time in Afghanistan, where she served in the United Nations mission (2005-2007). Her memoir Zen Under Fire, tells the story of her work in Afghanistan and the toll that work took on her and her relationships.

Marianne writes and teaches on creating, developing and sustaining real change in personal life, work and the world. She created the 30 Days of Yoga online courses to help people establish and maintain home yoga practices to support them to do their good work in the world. At the holidays – more than ever – we need practices to keep peace with ourselves and others. Marianne created her Zen Peacekeeper Guide to the Holidays to help you find a calm, compassionate path through the holiday season.

I first discovered Marianne Elliott by way of Susannah Conway, at least I think that’s how it happened. It’s hard to tell for sure, because however first contact happened, it quickly became clear that many of the other bloggers, teachers, artists and healers whose work I follow have a connection with her in common. However it happened, I immediately was drawn to how she blends activism and practice, manifesting gentleness as power, showing that soft is strong.

I was lucky enough to meet her at World Domination Summit, to take a yoga class with her. Her energy is simultaneously calming and energizing. She may not be the first person who suggested the idea but she’s the first person I really heard and understood when she talked about the yogic principle of balancing your effort with ease, a concept that has helped me make and sustain an important shift. Along with Anna Guest-Jelley and my local teachers, Marianne has inspired me to enter yoga teacher training. I am so happy to share her perspective on self-compassion with you, kind and gentle reader.

polaroidportrait31. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

It’s simply being kind to myself – meeting myself, whatever my emotional, physical or psychological state, with loving kindness. As simple, and difficult, as that!

2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

I think the first teacher to really speak to me, through her writing, about self-compassion was Pema Chödrön. I was in Afghanistan at the time and suffering a lot. It took reading Pema’s books to see how much of my suffering was being caused by my own harsh judgements of myself, and the mean commentary I had running in my own head.

My meditation teacher Peter Fernando helped me learn self-compassion both through his own kindness – towards me, himself and everyone else I watched him interact with – and through meditation practice.

Another wonderful teacher for me has been Sharon Salzberg who teaches loving kindness meditation and practice. I’ve recently had the gift of getting to know Sharon as a friend as well as a teacher and she really does embody the kindness she teaches.

Today, thanks to teachers like Peter and Sharon, I practice metta (or loving kindness) meditation regularly as way to cultivate compassion and loving kindness towards myself and others. Here is a link to a free recording of a metta mediation which I’d love to share with anyone who is interested in trying the practice.

3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

It’s a practice of softening towards myself, of connecting to my own heartfelt desire for my own well-being, and finding a source of gentle, sweet kindness towards myself – even when I’ve made a mistake. Metta meditation has helped me cultivate the capacity for this, but it still doesn’t always come easily.

Here’s an example: let’s say I’ve just ‘messed up’ in some way. Maybe I made a mistake that caused another person some stress or inconvenience or pain. There is a learned tendency in me to be harsh with myself, and often I’ll feel that rough edge of judgement rushing up on a hot wave of shame.

My metta practice can help me pause, in the moment, and connect to a sweeter, gentler place in myself. I can find compassion for myself and extend a hand of friendship to myself, just as I might to someone else. Initially I found that the kind voice in my head sounded a lot like my teacher, Peter, but these days it sounds more and more like me – just a kinder, gentler me than the version that used to rule to roost inside my head!

Girl in blue at school Lal4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

Some days the mean voices are faster, louder and more insistent than my inner sweetheart (as another teacher of mine, Natalie Goldberg, likes to call it). I’m not sure this is because anything is missing from my practice of self-compassion, except perhaps consistency! It’s an ongoing process – to strengthen the voice of the inner sweetheart, being a kind friend to myself in my messiest or darkest moments. But I feel confident in the transformative power of the metta practice.

marianneI am so grateful to Marianne, for these responses, but also for her presence in the world, awake and compassionate, alive with intention, and for her willingness to work towards easing suffering, in herself and in the world, to show up with an open heart. To find out more about Marianne, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Sherry Richert Belul.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning. Or make your way through all the posts tagged Self-Compassion Saturday.