Category Archives: Mindfulness

Something Good

pdxfloor1. Wisdom from Mahatma Gandhi, “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”

2. 23 Pictures That Will Warm Your Cold, Dead Heart on Buzzfeed.

3. Feel Her from Julie Daley on Unabashedly Female.

4. Your dog isn’t being friendly. He’s an asshole. And so are you. from The Dog Snobs. Amen.

5. 10 Questions for Grace and Whit on A Design So Vast. This had me cracking up and crying. I hope Grace gets her dog.

6. Things to do after your dog has died from The Other End of The Leash. *sob*

7. Allison Mae Photography, Ansel & Tilda: July, in which Allison shares photos of her own dogs. She’s just so g o o d.

8. Here we are today {Just One Paragraph 8/30} from Christina Rosalie.

9. From Brave Girls Club,

Dear Beautiful Girl,

You are enough.

You have enough. You do enough. You think enough. You serve enough. You know enough.

So enough is enough, girlfriend. Pat yourself on the back, go take a hot bath, and let yourself chill for a while.

Sounds like you could use a little break from being so much of enough.

Just BE.

You are so wonderful, just the way you are. You are loved. xoxo


10. Wisdom from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

11. Say I Love You Often, on Elephant Journal.

12. Wisdom from Seth Godin, in his post The opposite of anxiety,

I define non-clinical anxiety as, “experiencing failure in advance.” If you’re busy enacting a future that hasn’t happened yet, and amplifying the worst possible outcomes, it’s no wonder it’s difficult to ship that work.

13. 7 Simple Lessons From the Mat and My Life is too Complicated to Simplify from Be More With Less.

14. An Open Apology to All of My Weight Loss Clients from Iris Higgins.

15. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

It’s painful when you see how in spite of everything you continue in your neurosis; sometimes it has to wear itself out like an old shoe. However, refraining is very helpful as long as you don’t impose too authoritarian a voice on yourself. Refraining is not a New Year’s resolution, not a setup where you plan your next failure by saying, “I see what I do and I will never do it again,” and then you feel pretty bad when you do it again within the half hour.

Refraining comes about spontaneously when you see how your neurotic action works. You may say to yourself, “It would still feel good; it still looks like it would be fun,” but you refrain because you already know the chain reaction of misery that it sets off.

16. 6 Ways to Thwart an Off-Leash Dog Rushing You and Your Dog from Dogster.

17. More wisdom from Seth Godin, in his post Q&A: What works for websites today?

The only reason to build a website is to change someone. If you can’t tell me the change and you can’t tell me the someone, then you’re wasting your time.


18. More wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

Dear Beautiful Girl,

What are you willing to let go of today? Life is so much about knowing what to hold on to, and what to let go of…and having faith that it will all work out in the end.

Your heart and your gut know exactly what you need to let go of, even if your brain is giving you all sorts of reasons to clamp your fingers around it. There are seasons and times to have different things, relationships and situations in your life…and then the seasons change and it’s time to let go of many of those things. Change is hard….but change is absolutely necessary.

We’ve all got to let go of old habits, old situations, old behaviors and sometimes even old relationships to make room for what is meant for the next part of our lives. If we just get quiet, get brave, and listen very closely….our hearts will tell us what to let go of. This doesn’t mean it will be easy…it just means that it is what is meant for now.

You can do this. Listen to your heart. Be brave. You are loved. xoxo

19. An Inconvenient Hunger from Rachel Cole. (P.S. Registration for Rachel’s next session of Ease Hunting opens today!)

ease.button120. From Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links list, Adventures of Traveling Cars by Kim Leuenberger.

21. From Positively Present Picks list: Sayings 2.0 and put this shirt on.

22. George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates. This is good advice for all of us.

23. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Your Guide to Interacting with an Introvert, Why Stephen King Spends ‘Months and Even Years’ Writing Opening Sentences, Food Typography, and this video of Robert Downey Jr. singing Driven to Tears with Sting.

24. 5 Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into Everyday Life on Daily Good.

25. Jimmy Fallon, Robin Thicke & The Roots Sing “Blurred Lines” (w/ Classroom Instruments) on Elephant Journal.

26. New York photographer turns strangers into friends.

27. 8 Life Lessons From My Dog on Elephant Journal.

28. In the Midst of My Joy, I Wept from Thoughts Askance.


29. The Trauma of Being Alive by Mark Epstein.

Day of Rest

I went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday morning right when they opened to get strawberries from Garden Sweet, to be sure I got there before Amy ran out. They are so precious in Colorado, there are so few and the season so short, that we typically don’t waste them in a pie or jam, but rather eat them as they are, four boxes easily gone by the end of the day. We planted a small patch of our own strawberries this year, but they got too hot and didn’t all survive, and even if they did, it would be a few years before we’d produce enough ourselves to come even close to satisfying our hunger.

Strawberries are so much more than a fruit. For me, they embody my childhood, my home, where I came from, The Farm, Oregon, summertime. Growing up in the Willamette Valley, one of the first paid jobs a girl could get besides babysitting was picking strawberries. I don’t remember much about it, other than the early morning bus ride to the field, the wet bushes and muddy rows that would eventually dry out and warm up in the heat of the sun, getting paid by the flat, how at the end of the day you were sore and tired from squatting and bending and kneeling and reaching, crawling up and down the rows, and your fingers were stained with green and dirt and strawberry juice. I was allowed to use the money I earned for just about anything I wanted, and if I remember correctly (which I’ve been accused of not doing), the Sticky Fingers denim painter pants that were my uniform in the 6th grade were paid for with strawberry money.

strawberriesfarmersmarket

I first learned to pick strawberries in a field on my grandparents’ farm, The Farm. When I was only about 5 or 6, my cousin Christie and I would pick the same row, into the same basket, and when we had a certain amount, we were allowed to quit early, to go swimming in the pond or exploring in the woods. Grandpa always let us get away with not picking quite as much as we were supposed to, and with eating almost as much as we picked.

In Oregon in the summer, the most common restaurant dessert options are strawberry shortcake or marionberry cobbler. The closest I can get to marionberries in Colorado are frozen boysenberries (from Oregon) or something called a “Marion Blackberry” which are not marionberries at all. When I was growing up, I took for granted that the abundance of fruit was just what summer was like, anywhere. We had a Royal Anne cherry tree in our backyard, could pick and eat as many as we wanted, and my mom would can what we couldn’t eat fresh — we had so many it was possible to get sick of them. Now, I pay sometimes up to 6-8 dollars a pound, desperate for that remembered sweetness, and they are never as good. My Aunt Karen has so many marionberries that most years she is begging people to come pick them, to help her get rid of them.

blackberrybabies

I have newer berry memories too, from our time spend at Waldport, on the Oregon Coast. Mo’s Seafood has the best marionberry cobbler. The first summer we went, when Obi was only five months old, he found a patch of wild ones on our morning walk, picked and ate them all. We are usually there during berry season and there are three different farmer’s markets within driving distance three days a week, the berries are cheap, plentiful, and so delicious, and we are almost never without.

One year ago today, we were arriving at “our house,” beginning a month long stay. Not knowing when I can make the trip again (I’m most likely not leaving Colorado until Dexter is gone), makes me feel a particular kind of homesick. And yet, Eric and I have made a home here. We planted our own strawberry plants this year and yesterday, with some of the berries I got at the farmer’s market, Eric made me a strawberry pie, a dessert that comes from his family, has now become our tradition during berry season. I am content, happy here, in love with our little home and the place we live, and still, even though I am happily home, I am utterly homesick at the same time.

strawberrypie

This is how life is. A strawberry isn’t just a fruit, and yet in order to truly be content with life, we must put all our attention on it when we eat a strawberry, focus only on its essential strawberry nature, let go of the story we have to tell ourselves about it, and in this way we can truly taste it, fully experience its sweetness and its impermanence, as in the story Pema Chödrön shares,

There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.

Today, I am delighting in the preciousness. It seems like a good way to spend the day, to spend a life.