Category Archives: McSweeney’s

Something Good

ericaspens05

image by Eric

1. Stop Fighting Food by Isabel Foxen Duke.

2. Unfiltered thoughts on a Sunday morning from Paul Jarvis.

3. Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project, because this, Who would you be without that thought?, and especially this, On 9/11…and 9/12.

4. 22 Harsh Truths that Will Jolt You Awake from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

5. Truthbomb #628 from Danielle LaPorte, “Blessing. Curse. It’s your call.”

6. 5 Tips for Butchering Your Life (So You Can Finally Live) on Elephant Journal.

7. IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Wrote An Article About Marriage, And All Anyone Noticed Is That I’m Fat on xojane.

8. Good stuff from Huffington Post: And So There Must Come an End, and A Dog’s Advice to Humans in Photos, and 15 Incredibly Talented Tattoo Artists You Should Follow On Instagram Right Now.

9. Yoga Journal’s “Body Issue” Rebranding: Encouraging, Disturbing, Contradictory by Carol Horton.

10. Funny stuff from McSweeney’s: A Generic College Paper, and So You Want to Get Into an MFA Program: A Decision Tree, and From The Complete Guide to the Care and Training of the Writer in Your Life.

11. Janine’s Story of Hope and Healing. Sometimes, we need a ritual, a ceremony to mark the letting go.

12. 20 Free Essays & Stories by David Sedaris: A Sampling of His Inimitable Humor from Open Culture.

13. Navigate Your Life: Sarah Selecky from Jennifer Louden. Such a great series.

14. Be stubborn from Sarah Selecky.

15. Words for the Day :: No. 41 from Lisa Congdon.

16. True Stories Series: Meet Andrea Scher from Laurie Wagner.

17. Postcards for Ants: A 365-Day Miniature Painting Project by Lorraine Loots on Colossal.

18. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Integrity, and Your Fear is Boring.

19. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Writer Creates “Color Thesaurus” To Help You Correctly Name Any Color Imaginable, and Illustrator Creates Doodles That Interact With Their Surroundings, and Dog Owner Creates Fun Illustrations With His Bull Terrier.

20. The Mind and the Heart from Jack Kornfield.

21. Wisdom from Paolo Coelho,

Have courage. Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. Follow those dreams, because only a person who is not ashamed can manifest the glory of God. There is no sin but the lack of love. Have courage, be capable of loving, even if love appears to be a treacherous and terrible thing. Be happy in love. Be joyful in victory. Follow the dictates of your heart. Meet obligations in life. But obligations never prevented anyone from following their dreams.

22. It’s Like They Know Us: “Relax on your pristine white couch and enjoy these realistic depictions of motherhood.”

23. Good stuff on Be More With Less: Declutter and Downsize to Create a Life with Room for What Matters Most and What to Consider When Sharing Your Life on the Internet.

24. Good stuff on MindBodyGreen: Vegan Coconut Bliss Balls That Will Wow Your Taste Buds, and An Open Letter To Anyone Thinking About Trying Yoga, and Is Your Heart Chakra Blocked? Here’s How To Open It.

25. Here’s What Happens When You Give Play-Doh To A Bunch Of Adults on BuzzFeed.

26. Singing together: Lifting one another up on Visible and Real.

27. Watch As A Straight Man Tears Up At The Answers To His Question: Is Being Gay A Choice?

28. Alan Watts discusses Nothing. (Thanks for sharing, Mark).

29. A NYC Bartender’s Powerful Open Letter To The Hedge Funder Who Allegedly Grabbed Her Ass.

30. Control, Letting Go, and Finding Ease from Ishita Gupta.

31. Raise your hand. Say yes. (the podcast is here!) from Tiffany Han.

32. Good stuff on Create as Folk: A Heartbreaking Simple Truth (and what to do about it) and Purpose Profile: Super Love Tees.

33. To the humans wondering why I’m always late on Renegade Mothering.

34. Life, Legacy and the Final Episode of GLP TV???

35. Buddha Statue Brings Peace to Oakland Neighborhood.

36. 25 Famous Women on Childlessness.

37. Two elements of an apology from Seth Godin.

38. 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose from Mark Manson.

39. The Magic of Mandalas Blog Hop from Andrea Schroeder.

40. Fall Equinox Brings Kali and the Burning of the Old Self on Rebelle Society.

41. Dancers Follow A 2-Year-Old’s Dance Routine. (Thanks for sharing, Susan).

42. The happiest baby wombat in the world.

43. Wisdom from Mary Oliver,

The Writer’s Almanac once asked me, “What does loving the world mean to you?” Loving the world means giving it attention, which draws one to devotion, which means one is concerned with its condition, how it is being treated. I still believe that’s true.

44. Wisdom from Rilke,

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

45. Wisdom from Anita Krizzan,

When you just sit in silence
the wind blows through you,
the sun shines in you
and you realise you are not your body,
you are everything.

46. Almost there from Kat McNally.

47. Everything is changing for us (& how it could change for you too) on Writing Our Way Home.

48. Why Absolutely Nothing is Wrong With Your Highly Sensitive Personality on Medium.

49. Wisdom from Erica Jong, “The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk more.” (Shared by Positively Present).

50. How To Love Yourself (and sometimes other people) – Podcast Episode No. 50, a dharma talk by Lodro Rinzler.

Something Good

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

1. Wisdom from Saint Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” (Thanks to Gemma Stone for sharing).

2. Good stuff on Upworthy: A Baby Survives A Situation That Could Have Killed Any Of Us. Now They Call Him ‘Miracle Baby.’ and This Kid’s Scary Personification Of Depression Gives Me Chills.

3. Good stuff from Buzzfeed: This Artist Turns Her 2-Year-Old’s Doodles Into Gorgeous Paintings, and 21 Women Remember Their First Periods…For Better Or For Worse, and If Andy Dwyer Quotes Were Motivational Posters, and If Nick Miller Quotes Were Motivational Posters.

4. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Love your neighbor and How not to be overwhelmed.

5. 24 Signs That Life is Amazingly Awesome (Even When It Doesn’t Feel That Way). (Thanks for sharing, Sandi).

6. Anne Lamott on Facebook, “Life or life: This strange situation we find ourselves in, with no clear answers or meaning — well, you know, I mean besides love, or Love; taking care of the poor; and being amazed by beauty.”

7. The 7 Lies That Keep Us From Success from Jonathan Fields.

8. One of my favorite quotes, from Thich Nhat Hanh: “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

9. 23 ways to relax when you’re stressed from Positively Present.

10. Wisdom from Hafiz:

Ever since happiness heard your name,
it has been running through the streets
trying to find you.

11. More wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh:

Our practice is to find our true home. When we breathe, we breathe in such a way that we can find our true home. When we make a step, we make a step in such a way that we touch our true home with our feet.

12. Good stuff on Bored Panda: 17 Of The Most Unusual Beaches Around The World, and Mesmerizing Paper Art Made From Strips Of Colored Paper by Yulia Brodskaya, and These People Turned Log Piling Into An Art Form.

13. Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili recipe.

14. Anahata Katkin’s Flickr Photostream.

15. The Creamy Kung Foo of Writing True Stories from Laurie Wagner.

16. Why I Think This World Should End from Prince Ea.

16. New Backlit Paper Sculptures by Hari & Deepti on Colossal.

17. Then and now photos: Colorado flood recovery one year later from Colorado Public Radio.

18. You Cannot Hate Yourself Into Change from Jo Anna Rothman.

19. Wisdom from the poet Stonehouse:

I meditate alone in the quiet and dark
where nothing comes to mind
I sweep the steps when the west wind is done
I make a path for the moonlight

20. 5 Questions to Instantly Transform Your Family Relationships from MindValley Academy.

21. Accepting Ourselves…and our true delights from Julia Cameron.

22. 7 Steps to Living a Bill Murray Life, by Bill Murray.

23. The Horrible Awkwardness and Angst of Being a Beginner: In Aikido or at Anything on Huffington Post.

24. Learning How to Draw a Mandala from Jamie Ridler.

25. Good stuff from Be More with Less: 10 Strategies for Absolute Clarity and Identify Your Real Treasures and Finally Let Go.

26. Navigate Your Life: Justine Musk from Jennifer Louden.

27. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

In the morning when you wake up, reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind. At the end of the day, before going to sleep, think over what you’ve done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that. If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion.

28. Wisdom from Natalie Goldberg:

[A practice] is something you choose to do on a regular basis with no vision of an outcome; the aim is not improvement, not getting somewhere. You do it because you do it…you have an opportunity to meet your own mind, to examine what it does, its plays and shenanigans.

29. Wisdom from Isabel Foxen Duke:

…binge-eating is ALWAYS the result of restriction, and/or judgement of our food choices, and is there anything that triggers you into these feelings and behaviors more than wishing your body was different than it is?

30. Words for the Day :: No. 40 from Lisa Congdon.

31. Mortality as Muse.

32. If I Knew The Way, I Would Take You Home from Rebelle Society.

33. Louis C.K. Exposes My Stupid Brain on McSweeney’s.

34. Shake it off, the song that won’t get out of my head, has inspired some pretty cute tributes.

35. Elizabeth Gilbert Shares Her “Really Weird” Advice About Following Your Passion on Huffington Post.

36. Hey White People: A Kinda Awkward Note to America by #Ferguson Kids.

36. The #1 Secret on How To Engage With a Narcissist on Huffington Post.

37. From Brave Girls Club:

Dear Insightful Girl,

You already know the answers to the questions that are eating away at you. You just have to trust yourself enough to really listen and be brave with your decisions.

You know oh-so-much-more than you give yourself credit for. You have a good heart and powerful intuition and you really do know the right way to go, that doesn’t mean it’s always the easiest way to go…but the easiest path never was the most fruitful path, and you are one of the courageous souls who seeks the best fruit.

Trust your gut. It has never led you astray. You can do it — you are a Brave Girl. And you are so loved.

38. Women’s greatest threat isn’t misogyny, it’s counting calories on the Washington Post.

39. A Photographer’s Moving Tribute to the Pine Ridge Reservation on Slate.

Something Good

littleganesh1. The Wild Call of Selfishness from Mara Glatzel, which says,

All of the good that you will do on this planet – all of the relationships you will build, work you will create, and lives that you will impact – relies squarely on how well you take care of yourself and how much space you allow yourself in your own life.

Also from Mara, In Service to Your Big Dream.

2. Weekend Treats are back on Visible and Real.

3. Note from the Universe, “Hey, Jill, what if, instead of waiting for everything to be perfect, we start living your dreams this week, to any degree we can?”

4. Thailand’s White Temple Looks Like It Came Down From Heaven from Bored Panda.

5. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

The purpose of healing is not to be forever happy; that is impossible. The purpose of healing is to be awake. And to live while you are alive instead of dying while you are alive. Healing is about being broken and whole at the same time. Healing is about opening our hearts, not closing them. It is about softening the places in us that won’t let love in. Healing is a process.

6. Good stuff from Viral Nova: Barefoot Street Performer Stuns The Audience With Her Soulful Voice, and Japanese Artist Delivers Beautiful Paper Works Of Art, and These 31 Google Street View Pictures Are Hilarious, and Tiny Houses That Are Cooler Than Mansions.

7. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

Through kindness, strength arises. Not force, control, defense, manipulation, or intimidation. Those strategies keep us disconnected, tense, and ultimately far more breakable. Whether you’re talking hamstrings or heart strings, the real power is in being kind. And real kindness requires you show up open and receptive to what is (vs what you want).

8. Good stuff from Upworthy: Some People Came Out With A Cool New Kind Of Poster. When You Hang It, People Cry From Happiness. and This Might Be Jon Stewart’s Best Rant Ever. Because Ferguson.

9. “Wild”: Telluride Review. I can’t wait to see this movie.

10. 3 Things I Know About Becoming a Writer on Be More With Less. Word.

11. 7 Discipline-Mastering Practices and How to Breathe on Zen Habits.

12. The 4-Year-Old’s Workday on McSweeney’s.

13. Support Jes Baker Creating World Change. I really want to see this work, for many reasons.

14. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Your Problems Are Blessings (really, do the exercise she suggests — it’s powerful), and Why One Life Hack Can Change Everything, and The interview Moment that changed Oprah’s Life (and mine).

15. My Facebook Friend Lived a Good Life and Then Died Too Soon on New York Observer.

16. Comic Strip of Alan Watts’ Lecture: “What If Money Was No Object?” (thanks for sharing the link, Sandi).

17. Reboot of Die Trying: One Man’s Year of Digital Detox from Outside Online.

18. Good stuff from Treehugger: Romantic tiny forest home built in 6 weeks for $4,000 and What would our homes look like if designed around how we use them?

19. The Most Amazing Stone Walls You Will See Today on Twisted Sifter.

20. Sit a Spell on SouleMama.

21. What no one wants to say about Ferguson!, a very Buddhist perspective on recent events.

22. A Life of Balance: Turn Off The News from Jack Kornfield.

23. This Is What It’s Like To Be An Unarmed Black Man In America from Funny or Die on Huffington Post.

24. This College Student Will Carry Around Her Dorm Mattress Until Her Alleged Rapist Is Punished.

25. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: How To Do Downward Dog (Cute Infographic!) and 30 Amazing Photos That Will Make You Wish You Were At Burning Man 2014.

26. Why You Might Be Asking the Wrong Question About Suicide from Todd Mitchell.

27. Navigate Your Life: Karen Walrond from Jennifer Louden.

28. How Can Men Help Prevent Sexual Assault? on The New York Times.

29. “The List Of Rules For Women” By Jay Smooth Gets Everything Right on Huffington Post.

30. IKEA’s 2015 Catalog Launch Is the Perfect Spoof of iPad Ads.

31. On wholeness & loving ourselves realistically from Susannah Conway.

32. White Trash Buddhist: Do you have to break the bank to break into the upper middle way? A Kentucky native shows us what practice looks like on minimum wage on Tricycle.

33. What This Puppy Does After Noticing The Old Dog Having A Nightmare Is ADORABLE! And At 0:42…OMG!

34. The place I want to get back to from Judy Clement Wall.

35. Shared on Chookooloonks’ this was a good week list: Naterade : Being good to each other is so important, guys, and The Myth of Effortless, and Jennifer Orkin Lewis on Lisa Congdon’s blog.

36. force creates fear, fear destroys trust… from Pia Jane Bijkerk.

37. I wrote an article no one wanted from Paul Jarvis, (thanks for sharing the link, Laura).

38. Abandon hope on Painted Path.

39. Us/Them from Dallas Clayton.

40. We Must Move Into Love from Sandi Amorim.

41. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Notes to self and What your days look like.

42. 23 Dog Thoughts That Will Change Your Outlook On Everyday Dog Life.

43. I went to the mountains and remembered why we have kids on Renegade Mothering.

44. 50 Essays Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person on Flavorwire.

45. Where good things happen from Christina Rosalie. *sigh*

Something Good

It’s a shorter list this week, and clearly I had a limited number of things on my mind: the High Park Fire, the World Domination Summit, taking pictures, making choices about what stuff to buy or keep or take with us on our upcoming trip, and writing.

take me for a walk…

1. Instagram. I have been dreaming about, coveting, longing for this app for a really long time, but I’m not an iPerson and I like my phones dumb, (at least dumber than me). I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and bought an iTouch so I can play too. For now, since we only have a few days before we leave for Oregon, my strategy is to “keep calm and carry on,” because if I don’t watch it, I will burn up these few remaining days wandering around taking pictures–which most of the time would be okay, but I need to clean and pack and organize and all the other stuff you must do before a long trip. So far, I’ve only taken pictures of the dogs and one self-portrait, (in which my forehead and front teeth seem abnormally large).

2. I’m Fine, Thanks, a documentary. There are still four days left to pledge their Kickstarter campaign, even though they reached their goal sometime in the last few days. I get to see it when I’m at the World Domination Summit in a few weeks, and it looks to me like a story that needs to be told.

3. My 100 Things Challenge on Be More With Less. This is one of those things I want to do, at the same time it scares me silly. Courtney Carver is a badass.

4. An Evening with Ray Bradbury, 2001, “Telling the Truth,” the keynote address of The Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. I don’t agree with everything Mr. Bradbury has to say here (like “only the classics are any good, everything new is crap”), but there were lots of things I wrote down, stopped and thought about, and he’s so endearing and inspiring. Most of all, he reminds me that the childhood dream of being a writer wasn’t, isn’t crazy or impossible, and that we should all follow what brings us joy.

“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”

5. Terrible Minds. I love Chuck Wendig, am inspired by him time and time again. Lately, it was 25 Reasons This Is The Best Time To Be A Storyteller, 25 Realizations Writers Need To Have, and The Secret to Writing, which is essentially this:


6. This quote from Anne Frank, which I share in honor of the fire fighters and other good people working kindly and so diligently during this High Park Fire:

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too. I can feel the suffering of millions – and yet, if I look to the heavens, I think it will come out all right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.

7. Happiness Is Simple: Why Too Many Choices Make Us Miserable & 5 Ways To Improve Your Life! by Gala Darling.

8. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do from McSweeney’s. This is good.

9. Necessary advice from the trustworthy, brilliant Jamie Ridler, and a whole host of other luminaries. How to Get the Most Out of a Conference When You’re an Introvert or HSP (highly sensitive person) Part I and Part II. I will be taking a close look at this over the next few weeks.

10. Summer Reading List from Brain Pickings. In the introduction for the first book on the list, Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation, Tom Bissell says “To create anything — whether a short story or a magazine profile or a film or a sitcom — is to believe, if only momentarily, you are capable of magic.”

11. And finally, this quote, with a picture offered as proof: If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change, (Buddha).