Category Archives: Self-Love

Something Good

sundaymorningyoga02Saturday morning, I posted this status update on Facebook:

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

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

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

2. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

risk your

risk your

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. Be Brave from ZeFrank.

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

17. 5 more ways to stay creative from Chookooloonks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

33. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

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

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

35. Wisdom from Geneen Roth on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

40. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day of Rest

To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given. ~David Whyte

I’m posting this on the day of rest, but it’s every bit as much a message from the universe post, the message being how to be brave, the nature of courage, how to practice fearlessness, and that through it all, I am fundamentally wise and compassionate, basically good and already whole — as are we all.

In all the ways I am struggling, suffering, at the center is fear, fatigue, despair, feeling like I’m just not strong enough, can’t do “this” anymore — can’t keep losing those I love, can’t continue being so confused about my body and what it needs, can’t stand the anxiety and worry and impermanence, can’t live with this level of simultaneous determination and exhaustion, can’t compete with the discursive, erratic nature of my mind or the fierce emotional force of a tender and raw open heart in a world that is so loud, so fast, so full.

As a member of the Open Heart Project at the Practitioner level, I receive a video each Monday from Susan Piver in which she suggests a contemplation for the week. Our theme for this week? Fearlessness. In the video, Susan suggests that meditation is an act of “confronting our own tenderness,” and that,

Practice itself is a gesture of fearlessness, because when you sit down…you basically are consenting to release your agenda, and witness and be with what arises — and that is our definition of fearlessness.

She goes on to say that,

This definition of fearlessness has almost nothing to do with certainty or arrogance certainly, or feeling like you can dominate any situation you happen to enter. It’s actually almost the opposite. Here fearlessness has more to do with how vulnerable you can be, how much you can trust yourself when your emotions start to roil, how deeply you can feel, how wide you can open to let this world touch you…So our definition of fearlessness is a willingness to be vulnerable.


Then yesterday, this, from Kute Blackson: Stop beating yourself up. It won’t work. You won’t change that way, nothing will, and “what if you didn’t need to be fixed?” Accept yourself, love yourself, this is where the healing happens, in this way you will be transformed, free. Kute also says,

True healing is applying love to the part of you that hurts.

Brave BellyAnd this,

What if the way you might be going about trying to transform yourself or heal yourself, in and of itself, is causing more suffering?…Perhaps it’s not just about changing something, but it’s about the process of how you change something that has an impact on the thing itself. So consider this — your relationship with yourself is as important as the thing itself. Consider this — that the issue that you might be judging or dealing with in your life…is not simply the issue, that the real issue is how you relate with yourself as you deal with the issue. And if you are able to create some space, a certain compassion, a certain openness, a way of holding yourself through the issue even while the issue’s there, then you don’t need to heal the issue or clear the issue or get rid of the issue or exterminate that part of yourself in order to be okay, in order to be loveable, but that as you are right now you are loveable, just because.

I wonder how many times, from how many places and in how many forms I’ll need to hear this message to finally get it? This time it was coming from a person and in a form where I’ve seen it before, a Kute Blackson video and blog post. In this one, he delivers simple but powerful truth with his characteristic enthusiasm, makes watching it feel like you just attended the best church sermon ever. He suggests that,

There comes a moment when no matter how much healing or therapy you have done, how many books you have read or seminars that you have attended, you must make the bold choice to love yourself no matter what.

Loving yourself is a great act of courage. The simple yet powerful decision to love yourself no matter what is the key to your freedom.

Then on facebook this morning, Jeff Oaks shared a link to an opinion piece on The New York Times, The Value of Suffering by Pico Iyer, a beautiful essay full of truth. In it, he shares a story about the Dalai Lama visiting a Japanese fishing village that had been destroyed by the tsunami.

As the Dalai Lama got out of his car, he saw hundreds of citizens who had gathered on the street, behind ropes, to greet him. He went over and asked them how they were doing. Many collapsed into sobs. “Please change your hearts, be brave,” he said, while holding some and blessing others. “Please help everyone else and work hard; that is the best offering you can make to the dead.” When he turned round, however, I saw him brush away a tear himself.

Pico ends the essay by saying,

The only thing worse than assuming you could get the better of suffering, I began to think (though I’m no Buddhist), is imagining you could do nothing in its wake. And the tear I’d witnessed made me think that you could be strong enough to witness suffering, and yet human enough not to pretend to be master of it. Sometimes it’s those things we least understand that deserve our deepest trust. Isn’t that what love and wonder tell us, too?

I’ve been suffering, more specifically struggling with my suffering, and Pico’s piece was so helpful, as were Kute and Susan’s videos. They remind me that being with suffering, being able to sit and stay with it rather than running away or closing my eyes and heart to it, is an act of courage, a practice of sanity and love.

Today, I am practicing the courage to love myself, to heal by applying love to the parts that hurt, and keeping my heart open — no matter what. I am trusting this practice, trusting myself.

couragecircle

When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. ~Pema Chödrön

Self-Compassion Saturday: Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Today is the first official day of the World Domination Summit, (WDS). I am trying not to be jealous or feel sad when I look at all the pictures and updates being posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s kind of like having to stay home from summer camp or missing a school field trip because you are sick, knowing how much fun everyone is having, feeling a little left out and sorry for yourself. And yet, I know it was the right thing for me to not go this year, that Dexter needed me here, that I need the time to grieve his loss, (and besides, I spent so much money on it last year, I really couldn’t justify spending more, again, so soon).

One of the best things about WDS is the people you meet, the connections you make with those who are doing similar work and have similar ideas, who share your intentions and your experience. Last year at WDS, I was lucky enough to meet Anne-Sophie Reinhardt. Without planning to, we kept running into each other over the course of the weekend, sitting together and talking about the things we had in common. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with her. She has the biggest heart, makes you feel immediately safe and at ease, and she has the best smile, the greatest laugh.

annesophiewds2013

Anne-Sophie in a WDS hammock, 2013

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is a body image expert, self-love advocate and the author of Love Your Body The Way It Is. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series helping you to break free from your obsession with food and your body. On her website’s about page she says,

For the longest time, I was caught in a circle of self-doubt and self-loathing. Now, I’m free, confident and happy with myself and my body. My mission is to help you achieve the same.

And,

I write on, teach and live self-love and body-love. Sometimes, I even breathe it … I believe that every single woman can find peace around food and her body. I dream of creating a world where women love themselves unabashedly, completely and guiltlessly.

I am so grateful for the work Anne-Sophie is doing, the difference she is making, to me and in the world. And I am so happy to be able to share her perspective on self-compassion with you today.

annesophie

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

To me, self-compassion means having a binge and not beating yourself up. It means looking in the mirror and saying to yourself: Yes, love, your stomach isn’t perfect, but I love you anyway. It means laughing when you make a mistake instead of going into self-attack and it means responding to your ever-present critic in the head with a loud and clear “Fuck You”.

Self-compassion is a skill that every woman can learn. It’s a process that you commit to and once you decide to go from self-attacking mode to self-compassionate mode, your life completely changes.

Self-compassion helps to heal broken hearts and wounded souls. It’s the elixir of self-care and the golden heart of a self-loving person.

Self-compassion also means taking a bath at the end of a hard day, learning to say no when you’re exhausted and hell yes when something really exciting. Self-compassion doesn’t always feel good to you but it’s always good for you.

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?

Big question. I think that I’m still very much on the path to learning self-compassion. I never had a specific teacher or even a guru, but through my recovery from anorexia, I’ve read a lot, sat in meditation for days, tried, failed and tried again. I’ve learned to first not act on the constant critic’s advice and then I learned to respond to it in a different way. There were days when it was easy not to be so very hard on myself and there were and still are many days, where WWIII is happening in my body and mind.

Two steps forward. One step back.

That’s reality, life and a true self-loving path. If you can accept that, truly accept it, then you’re one step closer to a wholly self-compassionate life.

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

My number one way of showing self-compassion is to nourish my body with healthful, delicious food. I’ve been negating myself food for 14 years and it’s still my weakness. Another way to practice self-compassion is meditation. For about 8 months, I’ve been meditating every morning instead of running to the computer and letting the craziness of the day into my world. This lets me start my day with deep introspection and I always feel more balanced, which leads to being kinder to myself.  I often treat myself to a mani/pedi when I’m in a big self-attack mode or I simply go for a walk in nature, which never fails to ground me and helps me to see what’s really important. Also, when I had a fight with a loved one or I’ve made a mistake, I am kinder with myself as I used to be. It takes presence and practice in those moments, but the more often I do it the more intuitive a self-compassionate response gets.

4. 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?

Lots of things. How to not be so hard on myself when my business doesn’t do as well as I’d like it to go. How to be at peace even when I can’t work out for a few days. How to be present and grateful for being myself instead of always looking for the future. I still need to understand what complete peace of mind feels like, but I trust the process and I know that one day soon, I’ll know or I won’t. Either way, I’ll be more grounded, happier and kinder to myself and others.

MG_0432-Anne-kl1

I am so grateful for Anne-Sophie, for her responses – so genuine, just like her. I love how she described self-compassion as “the golden heart of a self-loving person.” To find out more about Anne-Sopie, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Susan Piver.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.

Something Good

1. Before and After, a beautiful poem and image from Vivienne McMaster.

2. This quote from C.G. Jung, “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

3. Be Cool & Don’t Be An Assh*le on Elephant Journal. I love this. At the entrance to my paid work office, I have two postcards. One says “Don’t be a jerk” and the other says “The time is now.”

4. We All Die and How I am Finally Becoming the Person I Betrayed at 19 from Girl on Fire.

5. The confrontation waiting to happen, wisdom from Seth Godin.

6. Andrea Scher’s start a foolish project on Jessica Swift’s blog, (Andrea’s new course, Start a Foolish Project, starts on July 1st, so there’s still time to register).

7. Speaking of foolish projects, this weird and wonderful ninja art installation I discovered on our morning walk. I have no idea what it means, but I give you “Plastic Animal Butts.”

8. Bryan Kest: A different kind of yoga teacher on The Examiner. This is the kind of yoga teacher I want, want to become. Just some of his wisdom shared in this article,

“Most people bring their shit to yoga and turn their yoga into shit.”

“Yoga is meant to free us from our agenda,” he explained, but most people bring their agenda to class. In yoga our body is talking to us. Most people aren’t listening because they’re trying to make the pose a certain way. Your job is to quiet your mind and figure out where you should be in the pose.”

“The only thing yoga will tell you is wake the f#?k up.”

9. The Practicality of Forgiveness from Create as Folk, pure wisdom from Laura Simms.

10. Validating your pain is the first step to getting stronger, wisdom from Danielle LaPorte.

11. The Best Foods To Help You Eat The Rainbow & Boost Your Energy on MindBodyGreen.

12. Make Me: Paper Patchwork Art on Decor8. I am itching to try this. As you may or may not know, I have an aunt who is an amazing fabric artist and I have a large collection of quilts, bordering on obsession, and yet I am not a seamstress myself, haven’t yet learned the art form — but scissors, glue and paper I could do.

13. Reasons to Avoid the Beach from Jason Good.

14. 6 Conversations You Need To Have With Yourself and 4 Reasons to Hold On a Little Longer from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

15. Spit & Polish: Romping with Laurie Wagner from Jennifer Louden. I’m registered for this workshop, knocking on wood and keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out and I get to go. These are two powerful, compassionate and wise teachers.

16. Everything you could want for a nuclear fallout from Kleenex to unappetizing cans of ‘multi-purpose food': California couple discover perfectly preserved 1961 fallout shelter 15 feet below their backyard.

17. 15 “Summer Camp Style” Friendship Bracelets You Can Make Right Now. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I’m still a sucker for these.

18. The Unicorn: A Motel, A Metaphor + Meth from Feed Me Darling.

19. On Getting (and Using) Another Chance, an older post from Lisa Congdon that’s worth another look.

20. Some Fucking Writing Tips from Matt Haig, (obviously if you are bothered by the language in the title, do not read this post).

21. How I Got Fired from the Job I Invented from Turner Barr. Idea theft, intellectual property robbery at its worst.

22. 10 Vegan Foods Packed with Protein from One Green Planet.

23. Healthy Living: Part Two from Decor8.

24. 5 Of The Coolest And Most Powerful POV’S On The Block (And Why This Matters To Your Business) from Jac McNeil.

25. 344 Illustrated Flowcharts to Find Answers to Life’s Big Questions on Brain Pickings.

26. Amber Valletta: Blaze Your Own Trail on The Conversation.

27. A Better Way to Die: Bringing together medicine and spirituality for end-of-life care, shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list.

28. Who to Fall in Love with First: 6 Ways to Love Yourself and 9 Ways You May Unwittingly Deprive Yourself of Love and Fulfillment on Tiny Buddha.

29. Living the Tiny Home Life: An Interview With Tammy Strobel on Mother Earth News.

30. This quote, shared by Positively Present Picks, “Now and then its good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy” ~Guillaume Apollinaire.

31. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Naturally Ella, this tempeh sandwich recipe from Thug Kitchen, and How to Make an Origami Elephant.

32. She’s Fierce. She’s Blunt. And Sadly, She’s Also Right. on Upworthy.

33. Dharma 101: Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. {eBooklet} on Elephant Journal.

Something Good

1. If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out: Poetry for Visionary Thinking. I have brilliant friends. This is the sort of thing they do when they follow their dreams, when they heed the call of their longing.

2. 3-year-old recites poem, “Litany” by Billy Collins. This kind of thing is an argument for reincarnation, divine nature, or something just as as brilliant and mysterious. Here’s a follow up story on NPR, Love Of Words Brings Child, Poet Together.

3. 17 Essays by Female Writers That Everyone Should Read on Flavorwire. I am working on it.

4. The question underneath every other question, another powerful post by Andrea Scher on Superhero Life.

5. More on what self-care, self-compassion looks like: Looking with Love by Alana Sheeren and Unraveling by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt.

6. Zen Pencils: Timothy Leary, “You aren’t like them.”

7. This quote, “Little by little, one travels far,” J.R.R. Tolkien. And similarly, “Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time,” Shunryu Suzuki.

8. One of my favorite quotes from William Gibson, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”

9. And this one, “If you subdue the hatred within, you will discover that there is not a single enemy left outside,” Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

10. C the G TV. Catherine Just only started the project last week, but already so many good interviews.

11. This is always a good reminder, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it,” ~Rumi. This too, “I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.” ~Rumi.

12. 14 Days of Self-Love post by Rachel Cole. This project, hosted by Vivienne McMaster is all kinds of good stuff, good people.

13. Open, Generous, and Connected by Seth Godin. Yes, please.

14. The Willard Asylum Suitcases on Lisa Congdon’s blog. Heartbreaking, fascinating, and slightly creepy.

15. Free ebook: Living from the Heart: Volume 1 from Louise Gale, and many other brilliant souls.

16. A Leap of Faith from Sas Petherick. “I feel like I have gone from playing ping-pong with my bare hands, to using a smart red paddle.”

17. Want More Love In Your Life? by Thomas Dunleavy on Your Heart Makes a Difference.

18. Swap True for Original from Jennifer Louden.

19. More than one thing from the brilliant Alexandra Franzen, 5 ways to write a blow-your-mind manifesto and Want folks to act / click / share / buy now? Screw the sales pitch. Write a Love Letter.

20. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others…(BE Your OWN Love Valentine) from Kute Blackson. “To succeed at being somebody that you are not (but think you need to be) is still a failure.  But to love who you are and courageously be that fully is a life well lived.”

21. 5 Reasons to Simplify Your Life from The Spacious Life.

22. “Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” ~Buddha

23. “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” ~Carl Sagan

24. Oana Befort’s beautiful blog.

25. Safe & Sound Taylor Swift (ft.The Civil Wars) – Brittni Paiva ukulele cover. Beautiful music, beautiful instrument.

26. My beautiful, brilliant friend Jessica Patterson said this week, “whatever reminds you that you are whole, perfect, and holy…start there,” (to which I responded “stay there”).

27. “Our ‘originality’ is nothing more than our unique response to everyone we ever wanted to imitate or seduce.” ~Susie Bright

28. “Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” ~Herman Hesse

29. your daily rock : live mindfully, on 37 Days which begins with this brilliant quote, “Mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is.” ~Sylvia Boorstein

30. 15 Easy Ways to Beat Anxiety Now on Greatist, (originally shared by Positively Present Picks). I wish I would have more successfully applied some of this the past few days.

31. A Pebble for Your Pocket on A Design So Vast. Such a beautiful post, which Lindsey ends with the question “what is there to do but to keep my eyes open, to take a deep breath, to love this life of mine, in all its flawed, real, glittering beauty?”

What I’m Learning Now

Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself. ~Jean Anouih

On Thursday, I worked a lot with letting the day unfold naturally, without force or agenda. I was fatigued, worn out, and took a sick day to rest. The plague (several versions) has been circling around campus and there’s a good chance my body is doing everything it can to fight it off. I stayed in my pajamas all day, fed myself well, drank lots of grapefruit juice, watched some inspirational videos while resting on the couch, taking notes and at one point having a long nap.

The Universe is bombarding me with messages about self-love, self-care, self-acceptance. The classes I’m taking, friendships I have, things I read and see and hear make clear what I can give, what is needed. The theme is that there is only one me, I have unique gifts, a specific perspective and calling, and that I must be true to that, honor it, because that’s what I have to offer the world. And most importantly, it is not selfish to be who I am, to love what I love. In fact, it is the deepest kind of compassion, the most profound expression of wisdom.

To succeed at being somebody that you are not (but think you need to be) is still a failure. But to love who you are and courageously be that fully is a life well lived. ~Kute Blackson

I contemplated this blog post that I’m writing now all day Thursday, but made the choice to rest instead. In fact, this past week, I only posted three times, when I typically post every day, sometimes twice. Normally that would make me feel bad, less than worthy and anxious because my stats were down. For years, I’ve been singing as loud as I can, dancing as fast as I can, performing elaborate routines, begging to be noticed, to be loved and accepted, cared for and safe. I can’t do it anymore, won’t–“a life lived in order to please others ends up pleasing no one at all,” (Elizabeth Lessor).

Pleasing another person is often about avoiding the conflict that might ensue if we tell the truth about our feelings, needs, fears, and dreams. ~Elizabeth Lessor

I know I have something of value to offer, but I can’t do it from a place of exhaustion and overwhelm. When thinking about how I might do this, my heart’s work, while maintaining full-time paid work and all the other things I’m responsible for, it is clear to me that the same approach that had been so unworkable, such a failure in my old job–overwork, overwhelm, anxiety, perfection, hustling for worthiness, people pleasing but self-hating–was being carried over into this. The same method of forcing and pushing and denial.

I want to continue loving what I love, so I need to soften my approach. I need to meet this work with gentleness, kindness, and be open to joy. I need to maintain my focus on how I want to feel, the experience I want to cultivate, the process rather than a product. I need to balance my effort with ease.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurman

I also must forgive myself for all that came before. All the years of trying to be good, hoping to be perfect, imagining that if I did what others wanted and expected that I would be loved, safe, accepted. The self-denial, self-loathing, self-abandonment, self-abuse, the pushing, forcing, smashing myself to bits, and broken promises. The cycle of starving and stuffing, never satisfied. I have to also forgive myself for my confusion, my disappointment, my despair, my rage, and every action that came from that dark place. I was only trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be.

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are. -Anne Lamott

I’m choosing that second option, dreaming bigger, cultivating courage and rest and joy, keeping my heart open, showing up and staying with whatever might arise, and doing it all imperfectly. My wish is to leave you, this space, this planet in better condition than I found it, and to ease suffering, in myself and the world.

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.
~Mary Oliver

Something Good


1. From Justine Musk, The Question You Need to Ask Yourself.

2. This quote from Geneen Roth:

Sometimes we use food and our weight as a way to be left alone. Since many of us believe that, regardless of what we get paid to do, our real job is to on call for people who need us, we leave ourselves with a way to get what we need and want: food. But when you say yes when you mean no, you abandon yourself. And when you say no when you mean no, you signal to yourself that it is safe here, inside your body. Safe here, where you live and are and breathe. You don’t have to run away. You don’t have to lie.

Saying no is a way of being tender with yourself and honest with the people around you. And when you say no with your voice, you will no longer need to say it with your body weight. And when you say no to what you don’t want, you have space to say yes to what you do.

And this one:

Right now, in this very second, ask yourself if what you are doing, what you are thinking and how you are acting brings you closer to yourself or farther away. Does it open your heart or does it close your heart? You have a choice. Break the trance. Come back to kindness.

And this one too:

Sometimes happiness is as difficult to accept as sadness or loneliness. Sometimes, we eat because we don’t know what to do with happiness or joy. We think we’re not allowed. We think we will get “too big for our britches.” We become superstitious. If we talk about it, people won’t like it. If we tell someone, they might be threatened and go away. We hold onto our sadness because we think that that is what connects us with other people–that if we feel terrible about ourselves, we will get help, but if we feel as if we are occupying our own lives, if we feel powerful, we will lose. In this way, we keep ourselves psychologically small. We keep ourselves wounded and afraid of our own magnificence. But it’s when you are aware of, and own, the hugeness of your heart, your being, your love that you are most connected to other people–which then allows them to connect to their own power, their own love. It begins with you.

3. A tiny riverside house in JapanOn the inside, it looks so much bigger, more spacious than you’d expect.

4. Understanding How to Frame Your Creative ExpertiseAnd P.S. I’m a survivor.

5. How to Write Like a Mother#^@%*& by Elissa Bassist & Cheryl Strayed.

6. Not Today a beautiful poem by the beautiful poet Julia Fehrenbacher at Painted Path.

7. The Power of Showing Up from Clare Herbert.

8. “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ~Mary Oliver

9. 5 Lessons I Learned While Running from Marianne Elliott. The final line of this isn’t about running at all, but it’s my favorite. Marianne also has a really great Resources for Writers page on her site.

10. Ben’s Friday Dance Party. I love this guy. He makes me smile. But I also watch this video and wonder if you were around him all the time, would it get annoying? Or would your face and stomach hurt from smiling so much and laughing so hard?

11. 30 Best Jokes from 30 Rock. I watched the final episode this weekend, am so sad that it’s over.

12. I commit to 28 days of meditation practice. May my practice benefit all beings.

13. 14 Days of Self Love hosted by Vivienne McMaster.

14. My Creative Life: Rachel W Cole on Susannah Conway’s blog. Two of my favorite women together.

15. 8 Ways Happy People are Different from Everyone Else by Shelley Prevost.

16. Why We Write: Mary Karr on the Magnetism and Madness of the Written Word on Brain Pickings. Equally depressing, refreshingly honest, and oddly comforting is this, “I still don’t support myself as a writer. I support myself as a college professor. I couldn’t pay my mortgage on the revenue from my books. The myth is that you make a lot of money when you publish a book. Unless you write a blockbuster, that’s pretty much untrue. Starting when I was five, I always identified as a writer. It had nothing to do with income.” I wish it weren’t true, and yet if it is, wouldn’t it just be better to surrender?

17. Brene’ Brown: The Courage to Be Vulnerable, Sounds True Podcast. Listen or download for free.

18. 13 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers from Jeff Goins, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list.

19. Glazed Beet and Carrot SaladI want to eat this, (also from Susannah’s list).

20. My Gift to You from Erica Herbert, in which Erica reads the sweetest book, (also from Susannah’s list).

21. Seth Godin on The Art of Noticing, and Then Creating, an On Being podcast, (from Happy Links on Rowdy Kittens). Also about Seth Godin, Here’s How Seth Godin Writes on Copy Blogger. My favorite part is when he is asked: “Do you write every day?” and his answer is “Do you talk every day?”

22. Yo La Tengo – “I’ll Be Around” video, a simple but magically complex video.

23. Danny and Annie, a sweet, sad love story, with an ending like so many others.

24. 10 Things Parents Should Never, Ever Do on BlogHer. I’m never sure if these are funny to me because I don’t have kids, or if they’d be that much funnier if I did.

25. Get Out of Your Head and Into the Moment on Scoutie Girl.

26. How to Say No to Everything Ever by Alexandra Franzen.

27. Oh What To Do About Sugar? by Jennifer Louden. Oh what to do indeed.