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