Category Archives: Susan Piver

Something Good

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Adele’s latest album, 25. I’ve been listening to it nonstop since it was released. And this prank she pulled on a group of Adele impersonators is so sweet.

2. Wisdom from Susan Piver, “Love is the least safe thing there is. It’s fierce. You can’t domesticate it. It’s wild. When you find it you should rejoice. When you lose it you should grieve.”

3. 31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve from Be More With Less, “is like an advent calendar in your inbox designed to deliver the gifts you so deserve. The gifts are meaningful, some are magical, and all of them remind you to fully embrace the simplicity and meaning of the holidays with purpose and intention.” Added bonus? Pay what you want! This would make a great gift, for yourself or someone else.

4. NIH to retire all research chimpanzees. Fifty animals held in “reserve” by the US government will be sent to sanctuaries. This makes me so happy. Here’s one reason why, Chimp With Darkest Past Takes Comfort In Tiny Troll Doll.

5. Outlaw Willie Nelson Opens Up In Two Classic ‘Fresh Air’ Interviews. Confession: I adore Willie Nelson.

6. In ‘Just Eat It,’ Filmmakers Feast For 6 Months On Discarded Food.

7. Roasted leek and white bean galettes, a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Yum. And this Honey Maple Roasted Carrots recipe from the Cafe Sucre Farine. (I get a little obsessed with roasted veggies this time of year.)

8. Florida Teacher Starts Each Day Complimenting Students One by One.

9. Finding Your Way Back to the Practices that Serve Your Soul, Willo O’Brien on Medium. This, in particular, is brilliant, “Fully allowing and feeling the emotions. Letting them be and letting them come through. Listening to what they have to say, giving them love, compassion, and space. This is the ultimate practice at the heart of it all.”

10. The incurable creative virus from Paul Jarvis. Have I told you lately how much I adore him? (P.S. Here’s a call for stories that will be published in the book this piece will also be in).

11. 365 Collage Journal Flip Through from Jamie Ridler. This looks like a fun project.

12. “You can always just listen” from Judy Clement Wall.

13. One letter can change your life–or someone else’s, “a free digital booklet all about the art of letter writing” from Alexandra Franzen. With the holidays coming up, this is a great practice to start cultivating.

14. Good stuff from Chookooloonks’s this was a good week list: let us attempt to spill light, and Still learning lessons, and Karen’s advent of light journaling course.

15. The *new* Black Friday hosted by the amazing Sherry Richert Belul. “This Black Friday, go with the new black: Spend at least part of the day making a Love List as a holiday gift for someone you love.”

16. Good stuff from Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: Visible Mending as an art form, and Shinning the Light on Sensitivity, and Elizabeth Gilbert on dealing with criticism.

17. A Funny Thing Happened When I Was Typing My Suicide Note…

18. Health at Every Size Lies from Dances with Fat.

19. READY ♥ SET ♥ REFLECT an online retreat being offered by the amazing Susie Stonefield Miller. This is for “anyone who is yearning to take some time to reflect on the past year, to let it inform this next year, to choose a word for the year and to make a gorgeous deck of inspiration cards,” and will include “short guided meditations with art journaling prompts, video tutorials, thoughtful worksheets, and community connection.” Good stuff.

20. Planning Day: Design Your 2016 from Jamie Ridler, a webinar to help you design the year you want.

21. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “…each minute we spend lending ourselves, our time or talents or energy or thoughts to something that we really want little or nothing to do with is time is stolen from the things that really do matter to us. Each minute spent with the parts of our life that we want to be free from is a minute that we are not at peace….a minute that is spent feeling miserable instead of joyful.”

22. Buddhism by the Numbers: The Four Noble Truths, a simple, clear description.

23. Ladybug take off – in slow motion. Nature is so fascinating, so amazing.

24. How our Feelings Weigh Down our Bodies on Elephant Journal.

25. 10 Things Black People Fear That White People Don’t (Or Don’t Nearly as Much).

26. 5 ways Christian fundamentalists completely misread the Bible.

27. The Gnomist: A Great Big Beautiful Act Of Kindness.

28. 20+ Cute And Funny Puns By Arseniic. Part of me feels like I’m too smart and too grown up to laugh at these, and the other part is laughing her thunderpants right off.

29. WATCH: A French Father Tries To Explain The Attacks To His Young Son. Sweet and heartbreaking. The way he smiles at his dad at the very end is worth the entire thing.

30. Three Reasons Frozen is Better.

31. Artwork is Work, Supporting the Arts Means Paying the Artists, a really great bumper sticker.

32. Nurse Writes This Heartbreaking Letter To The Parents Who Just Lost Their Daughter.

33. 48, written by Christine Mason Miller on our shared birthday, in which she says,

For now, while I’m able, I’m going to keep creating, feeling, living, crying, laughing, breathing deep breaths and being of service in whatever way I can. I will continue opening up my home to those I love. I will keep on trying to create the best I can create, whatever that means.

Today, I am turning 48 years old. Today, I am in awe of everything my first 47 years have given me. Today, I’m here to do one thing: LIVE.

34. Company is Coming. This is funny because it’s true. Anyone who is hosting Thanksgiving this year understands how it feels, the particular way you can lose your mind getting the house ready when you have people coming over.

35. Liz Kalloch’s redesigned website. LOVE it.

36. Watch Anthony Bourdain’s Mind Get Blown Eating At The Waffle House With Sean Brock. I always wonder where I’d take Anthony if he ever visited Fort Collins. Where would you take him where you live?

37. This quote from Arundhati Roy’s War Talk, which seems especially timely.

Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

38. Horse Head Squirrel Feeder. This is the best, a great gift idea.

39. Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West on The Onion, (just in case you thought it was for real).

40. Gluttony? It’s the holiday season; don’t judge yourself.

41. Funniest Parenting Tweets: What Moms And Dads Said On Twitter This Week. You don’t have to have your own kids to see the humor here.

Something Good

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. How Dare You (A lesson on defining your personal brand) from Paul Jarvis. I really think he has one of the most brilliant perspectives about marketing, branding, and blah, blah, blah. I think so because he says stuff like this, “As makers, we express who we are through what we make. That is, if we’re being honest about ourselves and what we stand for.”

2. Essena O’Neill – Why I REALLY am quitting social media. I share this with the disclaimer that I don’t believe (obviously) that social media is inherently bad. Just like every other technology or media, the way we use it manifests our own neurosis (and/or wisdom). We infuse it with who we are and what we believe. As such, every technology is also infused with our fundamental wisdom and compassion. It doesn’t exist on its own without us, isn’t inherently bad or good.

3. What if you didn’t give up? from Alexandra Franzen. Her superpower is a crazy fierce mix of motivation and inspiration, and this post is all the proof you need. In it, she says,”You can quit right now. Un-enroll. Hand in your notice. Shut down the website. Pack up your case and go home. Never play a note again. Fuck it. Or you can decide that following that persistent longing in your heart — the longing to create, to write, to make a difference in the unique way that you feel called to do it — is worth just a little more patience.”

4. Proud (Diet) Quitter from Dances with Fat.

5. Variations on stupid from Seth Godin, a great list of all the various ways we can be stupid.

6. Good stuff from Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: A Writer’s Manifesto by Joanne Harris: The National Conversation, and The Life-Changing Magic of Intentional Ignorance, and Top 16 Ways I Connect with God-presence from Alanis Morissette, and Rae Morris – Skin [Official Video].

7. 10 Behaviors of Genuine People, a list, a way of being worth aspiring to — actual, real, sincere, honest.

8. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter: “I’ve been working on this weird deck of cards (inspired by Oblique Strategies) to help me out when I get creatively stuck, so I thought I’d share a virtual version for y’all. More cards will be posted soon…”, and C.S. Lewis on how to be original, and “November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but I have no interest in writing novels, so I started National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReadMo).”

9. Why being weird is your best creative trait. What a relief…

10. Out of Control Salted Caramel Cinnamon Rolls, recipe and pictures that just might make your head explode.

11. And then that one time on twitter we all just became human and I laughed until I gave myself a headache from The Bloggess. If you are having a bad day, read these tweets and I guarantee you’ll feel better, and you’ll have a good laugh so it’s a win/win.

12. How to Decolonize your Yoga practice.

13. What Weight Gain Really Means. With the holidays comes a slew of content focused on how not to gain weight, how to lose weight, blah blah blah. Read this as the antidote.

14. Adele: Inside Her Private Life and Triumphant Return from Rolling Stone.

15. 20+ Cats Who Immediately Regretted Their Poor Life Choices on Bored Panda.

16. Songs that Crack my Heart right Open (in the Best possible Way) on Elephant Journal.

17. A Washington couple took a paternity test for their child. The man wasn’t the father. His unborn twin was. Science is weird.

18. Ruth Oosterman’s “Collaborations with my toddler.”. She takes her toddler daughter’s drawings and turns them into amazing pieces of art.

19. Elizabeth Duvivier is blogging every day for the month of November. Two of my favorite posts so far are this island of tranquility and season of bittersweet, in which she shares this quote from Daniell Koepke,

Despite what you may believe, you can disappoint people and still be good enough. You can make mistakes and still be capable and talented. You can let people down and still be worthwhile and deserving of love. Everyone has disappointed someone they care about. Everyone messes up, lets people down, and makes mistakes. Not because we’re inadequate or fundamentally inept, but because we’re imperfect and fundamentally human. Expecting anything different is setting yourself up for failure.

20. Tig Notaro’s Amazon Pilot Is Wonderful. And, you can watch it right now on Amazon, for FREE.

21. We just found out that Winnie the Pooh is actually a girl. Awesome. Agreed — awesome.

22. In no particular order: Some things I have learned so far in my 9ish months as a nomad.

23. What you won’t read on social media about living the dream from Life is Limitless. Life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — keep your heart open.

24. Writing Advice Is Bullshit from Terrible Minds.

25. Joyful and Exuberant, inspiration from Marc Johns. Trust me, go read it now.

26. Start with what you know on A Design So Vast. I appreciate Lindsey’s perspective so much, her willingness to look at herself and her life closely, directly, honestly.

27. Jamie Greenwood on Working For Yourself and Getting To The Heart of What’s True, a really great podcast.

28. Dieting is a Violent Act from Rachel Cole. Amen.

29. Two older posts from Susan Piver, which are just as relevant now as when she first published them, Self-Employment: Three Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me and The pain of pricing.

30. Two good pieces from Joanna Schroeder on Ravishly: Why I Stopped Weighing Myself and Why I Stopped Dieting And I Couldn’t Be Happier.

31. Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls With Surprise Gratitude Notes. I’d replace the notes with wishes, but yum!

32. Wisdom from Justine Musk, “Maybe you’re tired because you’re repressing so much of yourself.”

33. Mashed Potato Casserole recipe.

34. It’s Not The Dog, It’s You! A Simple Way to Stop Leash Reactivity.

35. Christians and Coffee Cups, which suggests, “And maybe this year we can stop yelling at others to ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ and instead focus on being Christlike ourselves.” A-fucking-men!

36. High school student absolutely kills a simple cover of Adele’s “Hello.”

37. The Self-Hatred Within Us by Sharon Salzberg.

Something Good


So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Good stuff from Seth Godin, The two-review technique and Are you interesting? Both of these are helping me to reframe the way I think about and approach my work.

2. Screw Finding Your Passion from Mark Manson. This post is really great, and yet I can’t offer it to you without also giving you another perspective, equally great (or maybe even slightly better), from Laura Simms: Why You Don’t Need to Find Your Passion to Do What You Love and Instead of Finding Your Passion, Find *THIS*

3. Mom, I’m Not A Girl: Raising a Transgender Child. I’m so glad there are parents willing to move beyond their own fear and confusion to parent with love.

4. Just F*cking Journal Class, an awesome four week course. The next session starts TODAY.

5. Big Magic: Resources Week 1 on Allowing Myself. Are you reading with us?

6. The Power of Maybe…A Story About Accepting What Is from Meg Casey, a powerful post about how we might shift our perspective. “If we are able to drop the story of ‘good or bad’ and just greet our life exactly as it is without judgement we create the maximum conditions for healing in our life. We also by the way, free up resources to help us through whatever life is throwing at us.”

7. Humorous Street Signs and Other Contextual Street Art Interventions by Michael Pederson, an artist in Sydney, Australia, who clearly has a partner in crime in Jeff Wysaski, a comedy writer in Los Angeles, because There’s a Man Scattering Very Funny Fake Books, Signs and Pamphlets Around L.A. It makes me stupid happy that there are people who are willing to make this sort of effort just to make other people smile.

8. 50+ Of The Cutest Baby Animals Of All Time on Bored Panda. As I put this post together, there are 149 submissions so far to this list. I’ve tried to figure out which is my favorite, but how is a person supposed to choose?! And if you were able to survive that, check this out, 15+ Animals Enjoying Autumn Magic (as I post this, the list is at 49). Baby lion playing in a pile of leaves?!

9. The Essence of Hayao Miyazaki Films: A Short Documentary About the Humanity at the Heart of His Animation. “His aim was to make films that would help us all further understand the human condition.” If you haven’t seen any of his films, I highly recommend them…all of them.

10. What I Wished I’d Known Before Setting Out to Become a Writer a guest post from Nicole Baute on Sarah Selecky’s blog.

11. My Lonely Robots Experiencing The Quiet Wonder Of The World, a collection from artist Matt Dixon on Bored Panda. These little guys are so sweet.

12. Did you hear that Oprah bought 10% of Weight Watchers? Here’s some good stuff that got written about it that says what I feel better than I could articulate it: Dear Oprah from Julie Dillon, and Oprah and Weight Watchers, a Match Made In… on Dances with Fat, and Dear Virgie: Oprah Buying 10% of Weight Watchers–WTF? I especially love what Virgie says, “you cannot be actively investing in the diet industry and actively investing in the improvement of women’s lives.” Word.

13. A Soulful Exploration of Inner Wisdom with Susan Piver, an episode of The Unmistakable Creative podcast. I could listen to Susan tell her story all day. What she says right at the beginning is friggin’ brilliant.

14. 17 Beautiful Rooms For The Book-Loving Soul. And yes, I want to go to there, BuzzFeed.

15. Wisdom from Virginia Woolf, “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

16. Why I Focus on Simplicity (and How You Can Simplify Your Life in 2016) from Blonde on a Budget.

17. Qwerkywriter. I don’t know how comfortable this would be to type on, but I love the way it looks.

18. This Is How The Pro-Gun Crowd Sounds To … Well, Normal People. *gigglesnort*

19. Beyond Happy by Omid Safi on On Being, in which he suggests, “What if we strive for something beyond happiness? What if we aim for a life that is about being whole?” I love the poem at the end of this so much.

Here is to a life, everyday and spiritual,
Both individual and communal,
Meditative and ritual,
Embracing all the emotions that make us human,
Leading us to happiness,
And beyond happiness

To being
and becoming

20. 10 Fast Ways to Become a Better Writer from Sarah Kathleen Peck.

21. Good stuff from Zen Habits, The Underrated, Essential Art of Coping and Why You Should Write Daily.

22. Finding Your Creative Flow: 17 Writer’s Tricks to Get Un-stuck and Start Creating.

23. Beautiful Peace Mantra sung by Tina Turner.

24. Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul.

25. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Love is your calling.”

26. Purification. Pain. Passion. And marrying your soul. Or…How to tap your deep creativity. from Danielle LaPorte.

27. 8 Amazing Things Will Happen To Your Brain When You Keep Writing Every Day.

28. 5 Mantras for When You Hate Your Job from Laura Simms.

29. “How I dearly wish I was not here,” a beautiful, heartbreaking story of what it’s like to lose your dog, to let them go. I read it a few days ago and I still can’t even read the title without crying. I don’t want to do this again, e v e r, and yet I keep getting more dogs knowing that this is exactly what will happen with every one of them — it’s a particular flavor of crazy.

30. Just Between You & Me, an unedited and unreviewed weekly conversation between Jen Lee and author/illustrator Tim Manley.

31. Why I opt out of the holidays: A Simple & Meaningful Christmas from Paul Jarvis. This is really, really tempting…

32. It’s Not You, it’s the Clothes from Sally McGraw. It’s so important to remember this.

33. 3 Ways to Say Goodbye to Busyness on Be More With Less.

34. Meditation teacher, medical expert Jamie Zimmerman dies in drowning accident. Yet another reminder to not wait, to not give up, to love what/who you love now.

35. Good stuff from Chookooloonks this was a good week list: “National Geographic is currently accepting entries for its 2015 photo contest, and you can scroll through the best ones so far here“, and “my friend Justin had an adventure in Peru, and since he’s a gifted photographer, he shows us how gorgeous it was.”

36. Bill Murray Talks The ‘Kasbah’ — And The Merits Of A Life Lived Phoneless.

37. After 59 years, Mattel gets it right: the new Barbie ad is awesome.

38. Behind the Scenes With Dani Shapiro, “Memoirist and best-selling author Dani Shapiro shares what she’s learned about herself from her daily practice of writing and completing her books.”

39. Starting a podcast for people who don’t want their lives taken over by podcasting from Paul Jarvis. SUCH good advice.

40. Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Paul Jarvis. Tiffany has interviewed so many great people. You should check out her archive.

41. 7 things I did to reboot my life from Wil Wheaton. “I deserve to be happy. I deserve to feel good about myself. I can do the work that I need to do to accomplish these things.”

Something Good


So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Mabel Magazine #4: What’s Next? is available for preorder, (one of my pieces is featured). I love their tagline so much, “making a living, creating a life.”

2. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: What if your job didn’t exist? and Will anyone come to my party? What I like so much about Alexandra’s advice is that even though it’s really good for specific people, it’s also applicable to anyone who is human, anyone trying to figure out how to live their lives.

3. Go Big, Go Weird, Go You, And Fuck Fear Right In The Ear and Kubler-Ross Model of Grief Associated With Editing And Rewriting on Terrible Minds. He might use a lot of naughty words to do it, but Chuck tells the TRUTH.

4. The Case of the Stolen Basketball Hoop from Jena Schwartz, in which she says, “Isn’t that the reason I blog, to pull all of the disparate strands from a day into some kind of bow you’d recognize and want to pull open, to unwrap with the promise of something beautiful waiting inside?”

5. 3 Ways to NOT Fail at NaNoWriMo. And in related news, 12 Thoughts On NaNoWriMo: Why you should or should NOT participate in National Novel Writing Month.

6. Getting Over the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) from Kute Blackson. I don’t necessarily think that something more exciting is happening somewhere else, I worry that if I stop, slow down, take a break, I’m going to miss something good, something important — so I listen to Kute preach.

7. The power of fear and Simple questions for writers from Seth Godin.

8. Eighteen Attempts at Writing About a Miscarriage. Sad, beautiful.

9. 10 Slow and Steady Strategies for Practical Decluttering from Be More With Less – clear, useful, simple instructions from Courtney Carver.

10. How To Be An Artist (In An Internet Age), an interview with Austin Kleon.

11. What have you experienced? on Chookooloonks. Make sure to read the comments, leave one of your own.

12. One-Third Of This Company’s Workers Have Criminal Backgrounds. “Dave’s Killer Bread is urging other employers to hire ex-convicts, too.” This is the kind of bread we eat, because it’s good and because they are doing good.

13. 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity. #3 is my favorite.

14. ‘Broad City’ released a Columbus Day video, because they know what we need.

15. Making Magic: Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Big Magic on Flingo.

16. Artist Uses Nature To Color Animal Paper Silhouettes on Bored Panda. In related news, Self-Taught Polish Artist Uses Fallen Autumn Leaves As Canvases For Her Paintings and Maple Leaves Left In A Box For 15 Years Became Canvases For My Art. Which reminds me of Flor & Fawn, a creative collaboration between Katie Daisy & Karen Eland — they are going to start doing custom pet portraits and I really want some of my dogs!

17. The Key To Oprah Winfrey’s Success: Radical Focus, a fascinating look behind the scenes.

18. Rest on Allowing Myself.

19. UN to investigate plight of US Native Americans for first time. “The UN human rights inquiry will focus on the living conditions of the 2.7 million Native Americans living in the US.”

20. To Witness Victory of This New Bravery by Omid Safi at On Being. So good.

21. Rescue Kitten Adopted By 5 Ferrets Thinks It’s A Ferret Too. Stupid cute.

22. The Meaning of Hatha Yoga (and No, It’s Not “Sun & Moon”) from Michael Lloyd-Billington, one of my favorite local teachers. I teach Hatha Yoga and this was still an interesting read for me.

23. “A Love Affair with Change”: An Inkerview with Isabel Abbott on The Inky Path.

24. Karl Paulnack Welcome Address on The Boston Conservatory. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read about the importance of the arts, of artists, of humans. He concludes, among other things, that,

Art is part of survival; art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, “I am alive, and my life has meaning.”

25. Why October is Hard on Getting the Words Wrong. All I can say is Amen.

26. Truthbomb #907 from Danielle LaPorte, “No need to try so hard.”

27. The Water Takes You Just as You Are from Rachel Cole.

28. The Lonely Death of George Bell from The New York Times. “Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, some alone and unseen. Yet death even in such forlorn form can cause a surprising amount of activity. Sometimes, along the way, a life’s secrets are revealed.” This piece was so interesting, so heartbreaking.

29. The Tiny Book Show. There’s still plenty of time to take part.

30. RISE, a morning yoga course with Adriene.

31. Read this when no one loves you. You know what, read it anyway. Read it now.

32. A Group Of People Tried Journaling Every Day For A Month And It Got A Little Too Introspective, a BuzzFeed video. “A group of us was asked to commit to writing in a journal 10 minutes every day for a month and this is how we did.”

33. 22 Habits That Will Make Your Life a Little More Peaceful Each Day. Certainly worth a try.

34. A Girl Gets Her Period And Is Banished To The Shed: #15Girls.

35. Your life is of the utmost importance, Susan Piver’s latest Open Heart Project video. In the email she sent to the OHP Sangha, she ended this way, “Thank you for being alive. Thank you for bringing your unique beauty to us all. Thank you for working to open your heart to the mystery.” Amen.

36. Wisdom from Dza Kilung Rinpoche,

You don’t need to be an “excellent meditator” to start with. All you need to do is have your heart and mind make the following agreement: “Let’s rest. There’s no reason right now to wander around following thoughts or worrying. Let’s be relaxed and open.” There’s not even any need to shut down your thoughts. Just be there with them, but not overly concerned or engaged. Let there be total openness, and just relax within that.

37. Anna Kendrick’s Surprising (and Brilliant) Shower Thoughts. The last one is the best, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Day of Rest

image by Eric

image by Eric

I’m feeling sad and a little angry this morning, confused. One friend’s sweet dog was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that can be very painful, so young that I still think of him as a puppy. Another person I adore had surgery yesterday because her cancer is back. Someone else I love and who deserves to be happy, to stay happy, is getting a divorce. Another friend had a garage sale to try and make some money for next month’s rent. Someone else I can’t imagine losing is drinking herself to death. And I don’t even want to talk about all the stuff in the news right now. The thing we all want is to be happy, comfortable, at peace, safe, and yet it seems so hard to get there, to stay there.

Buddhism would say that’s the root of our suffering: the longing to not suffer, the desire to escape it. It’s a real Catch 22 — we long to not suffer, but the circumstances of living are such that suffering is our fundamental experience, so in the end it’s the wanting to not feel pain that causes it, keeps us caught in the cycle of suffering. In an email yesterday, Susan Piver shared a quote from Chögyam Trungpa’s book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior that makes the whole thing a little less confusing, more workable.

Discovering real goodness comes from appreciating very simple experiences. We are not talking about how good it feels to make a million dollars or finally graduate from college or buy a new house, but we are speaking here of the basic goodness of being alive — which does not depend on our accomplishments or fulfilling our desires. We experience glimpses of goodness all the time, but we often fail to acknowledge them. When we see a bright color, we are witnessing our own inherent goodness. When we hear a beautiful sound, we are hearing our own basic goodness. When we step out of the shower, we feel fresh and clean, and when we walk out of a stuffy room, we appreciate the sudden whiff of fresh air. These events take a fraction of a second, but they are real experiences of goodness.

If we are willing to take an unbiased look, we will find that, in spite of all our problems and confusion, all our emotional and psychological ups and downs, there is something basically good about our existence as human beings. We have moments of basic non-aggression and freshness…it is worthwhile to take advantage of these moments…we have an actual connection to reality that can wake us up and make us feel basically, fundamentally good.

This is in no way suggesting that we simply “stay positive.” Rather it’s suggesting that in our confusion, we don’t allow our suffering to make us blind to what is good, that we notice and pay attention to everything — the yellow of the leaves, a sip of clean water, even the feeling of sadness that arises when something difficult happens to someone we love because we love them and we long for them to be happy and safe. As always, this makes me return to the one thing that makes the most sense to me: life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — keep your heart open.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. ~Hermann Hesse

So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. My Cup Runneth Over by Jena Schwartz. This is real life — a mess, and some kind of magic.

2. Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert on Creative Courage and the Art of Living in a State of Uninterrupted Marvel on Brain Pickings. She was also recently interviewed on Good Life Project radio, Elizabeth Gilbert: The Creative Life.

3. I am my own worst enemy by Paul Jarvis. (Just to be clear, I am one of his rat people, “the people that get what you do, appreciate it, and love you for it”).

4. Wisdom from Seth Godin: The 2% who misunderstand you, and The banality of the magazine rack, and Dreams and fears.

5. Yoga, spinning and a murder: My strange months at Lululemon. I love what this has to say about being who you really are.

6. Francine’s interview, from Human (the movie). “Born in 1933, Francine Christophe was deported with her mother at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. Released the following year, she continues to share her experience and memories, particularly with the younger generations.” (Confession: I’ve had a lifelong obsession with stories from the Holocaust, specifically the way that moment in history brought out the best and the worst in those involved).

7. Human, the movie, Volumes 1-3, which you can watch online, for FREE.

What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery? Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. Working with a dedicated team of translators, journalists and cameramen, Yann captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all; struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness.

8. Bryan Chapman of Mississippi has hummingbirds drinking out of his hand!

9. Author Lauren Myracle calls on overprotective parents to stop banning books. Find out more about Banned Books Week, Sept. 27- Oct. 3, on the official website.

10. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa, “In the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.” I love this quote. I also hate this quote.

11. Uh-oh. I think my new favorite album might be Ryan Adams’s reimagining of Taylor Swift’s 1989. NPR did a really good piece about it, No Blank Space, Baby: Taylor Swift Is The Soul Of Ryan Adams.

12. Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation, a great review of a great book.

13. 10 Reasons We Should Defund Planned Parenthood IMMEDIATELY. *gigglesnort*

14. Jenny Lawson “The Bloggess” Gets Furiously Happy con Queso with an Interview, an Announcement and an Old-School Giveaway.

15. So much wisdom from Alexandra Franzen, How to love your work… even when you don’t love your work, and How to avoid being someone’s “assistant” for the rest of your career and finally do your own thing, and 7 beautiful, meaningful writing projects that you can finish in a single day. Because finishing is sexy.

16. One-Pot Butternut Squash Alfredo. I bought two butternut squash at the grocery store this weekend, not really surewhat I was going to do with them exactly. THIS, this is what…

17. Why I Almost Didn’t Tell You About the Book I’m Writing from Be More With Less.

18. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter: Thoughts on authenticity from the documentary The Search for General Tso, (we watched this documentary, and I agree with Austin’s assessment of it), and Everyone lies about writing, and a great video tutorial, How to make a newspaper blackout poem.

19. I never should have followed my dreams. “I quit my steady gig to fulfill my potential. Instead I went broke, and got fired from a job in doggie daycare.”

20. Six-year-old’s heartfelt lecture to mom and dad. An adorable little girl’s words of wisdom have gone viral after her mother uploaded a video of her pleading with her divorced parents to be friends. The video has been viewed more than six million times. In the video, Tiana tells her mom, “I think you can do it. I think you can settle your mean heights down to short heights … I just want everything to be settled down, nothing else. For everything to be as good as possible. Nothing else.” She’s so earnest and sweet that you can’t help but want to try harder to be nicer after listening to her.

21. 15 Celebs Answering Badass, Inspiring Questions On The Emmys Red Carpet, because it’s time to start asking more than “What are you wearing?”

22. Grab your tissues: This couple’s wedding day was all about their ailing dog.

23. A hedge fund bro bought an AIDS drug, then raised the price from $13.50 to $750. Compare that to Kickstarter Focuses Its Mission on Altruism Over Profit.

24. He Wears Nail Polish Because He’s a Good Father.

The only thing that is missing from this video is Nathan’s backstory. He’s even more amazing than what they show here — in 2011, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer, and nine days later, his wife Elisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nathan beat his cancer, but Elisa died in March of 2014.

25. It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. *gigglesnort*

26. Andrea Scher has a new website just for her photography. I was lucky enough to do a session with her. She’s fantastic.

27. Japanese Photographer Documents The Beauty Of Everyday Life In Japan. Confession: I’m a Japan-ophile. Even though I long to, I’m afraid to travel there, worried I’ll love it so much I won’t want to come back.

28. Library Haul – September 2015 on Allowing Myself, one of my favorite blogs/bloggers. I love Justine’s description of the power of books and reading, “Non-fiction holds my attention. Fiction keeps me afloat. Reading calms and centers me in a way that not much else can.” And if you need more proof of why I love this blog, just read Tiny Shifts — honest, vulnerable, tender, and sad, but so inspiring. Justine writes about what is hard, but she makes it clear she’s also not giving up. Tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal.

29. Meet the blogger who turned her battle with an eating disorder into a body positive movement.

30. 100 questions to discover yourself from Positively Present. I love this kind of thing, use them as journal prompts, as well as regularly torturing friends and my significant other with them.

31. A Blog Is Only Dead When You Are, more on the topic “is blogging dead?” (which honestly is a silly question, akin to something like “are books dead?”).

32. permission on Chookooloonks.

33. AngelList, a platform for startups to hire people. If I were looking for a job, I think I’d check this out.

34. A Person You Should Know: Courtney Carver. I shared this site on a Something Good list a while back, and the creator Josh Spector asked who I thought he should profile. Courtney is one of the people I suggested.

35. A White Artist Wrote ‘Black Lives Matter’ 2,000 Times. But His Mural Almost Said ‘All Lives Matter.’

36. Is Teaching Yoga Your Path? 8 Qualities of Excellent Teachers. “Considering yoga teacher training? 90 Monkeys co-founder Amy Ippoliti suggests you start by asking yourself some tough questions.”

37. Spiritual practice won’t stop shitty things from happening to you. However…, a reality check from Danielle LaPorte in which she makes some important distinctions about the benefits of practice.

38. Alison’s Story, another installment of the Transgender in Colorado series from The Denver Post.

39. To the stinking alcoholic at the liquor store last week from Renegade Mothering. I’m sharing this with someone I love. I hope she reads it. I hope she gets it. I hope she stops before it’s too late.

40. When the Everyday Calls For Super Powers and a Good Plum Tart on Flingo.

41. 8 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make In A Muffin Tin. Too bad the pictures they used for this post are so horribly unappetizing.

42. Watch Shiva Rea’s Moon Salutation.

43. Why I Quit Teaching Yoga & Hope to Never Go Back on Elephant Journal. The reason is not at all what you’d expect, and makes me think all of us yoga teachers should do the same thing.

44. Watch These Dancers Tell A Breakup Story In A Way Words Can’t Convey.

Something Good


image by Eric

So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Unfold: An Introduction to Art Journaling from the Heart, my dear friend Susie’s new online class. I’m taking it, and if you want to join us, register by September 27th for the early bird pricing. Class starts Sunday, October 11th.

2. How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People), a new book by Lodro Rinzler, co-authored by Meggan Watterson. “This book is a smart, hip guide for spiritual seekers who want to experience more love and stability in all forms or relationships.”

3. Unicorn farts & big breaks from the amazing Paul Jarvis, in which he explains two very important things. One, what looks like an overnight success usually is not, because “Achievement is never the result of a single action, it’s the build-up of all of our actions.” And two, that the joy should come in the making, the doing, the process, because “The sweat, research, trials and failures, dead ends and unknowns are exactly what makes things great…The process can be enjoyed as much or more than the outcome because otherwise, why bother?” Paul sends out an email to his list every Sunday, but also created an archive of those messages on Medium. It’s worth a look.

4. Tell Me Your Story, Not Your Status. “You are living a story. What is it?”

5. Giving Up The Need To Be Perfect from Kute Blackson. A great argument against perfection, because “Trying to be perfect is a sure recipe for suffering.” This guy knows how to preach. Whenever I watch one of Kute’s videos, I feel so energized, so inspired. Do yourself a favor and watch. Also, don’t forget to read the post that goes with it.

6. Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up. Everyone needs a copy of this list on hand, every single human.

7. 8 Ways to Change Your Habits (And Actually Get What You Want) from Sarah Kathleen Peck, a really helpful, simple list. #3 and #5 are my favorites.

8. Rejection-seeking as a form of hiding and When did you give up? from Seth Godin. Oh, snap!

9. Wisdom from poet Mary Oliver, “Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.” Her new book, Felicity, comes out next month, and has been described as an “inviting collection of love poems that celebrates the divine as much as it does the natural world or human relationships,” and “an eloquent celebration of simple joy from one of America’s most beloved poets.”

10. Something-for-Everyone Cookies, a recipe from SouleMama.

11. The Dieting Habit I Just Couldn’t Break, a brilliant post from Isabel Foxen Duke.

12. An Open Letter to People Who Use Hashtags. #gigglesnort #thisisgreat #youshouldreadit

13. 36 Things To Do For Those In Grief: I made a list when it happened to me.

14. The Art of Not Dying: A Story for Suicide Awareness Month.

15. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter: the first draft is always perfect and Give it five minutes.

16. Do people still read blogs?, and interesting conversation on A Design So Vast, which includes links to pieces by Vikki Reich and Nina Badzin.

17. The First-Person Industrial Complex: The Internet prizes the harrowing personal essay. But sometimes telling your story comes with a price.

18. Scott Dinsmore, creator of Live Your Legend, died in a freak accident on Mt. Kilimanjaro this past week. He was only 33 years old. I’m Going Off the Grid: Therapy for an Addicted & Over-Connected World ended up being his last blog post ever. In it, he said, “The pause is disappearing. That priceless space that allows us to think big, to reflect, to plan, to create – it’s becoming harder and harder to find. Which means our responsibility to save it is greater than ever.” There have been some really great tributes written about him, here and here. If you didn’t know who he was, I recommend you watch his TED talk, or this episode of The Good Life Project.

19. The Story of a Girl & Lake by Sunni Chapman.

20. Every Day She Said ‘Hello’ To This Homeless Man. But One Day He Handed Her A Piece Of Paper, a beautiful short critically acclaimed documentary called “The Conditioned.”

21. Nurses defend Miss Colorado after ‘The View’ hosts mock her monologue (VIDEO).

22. Teacher’s Cardio ‘Nae Nae’ Will Make You Want To Go To Gym Class. Which reminds me of the Where the Hell is Matt? project, and Dance Walking Fitness. Confession: dancing makes me stupid happy.

23. 25 things you should start adding to your compost pile from Tree Hugger. We are big composters, even have a worm bin, but some of this stuff I would have never thought to put in the pile.

24. Why I Cook from Dr. Andrew Weil. A great exploration of the magic of cooking, in which he says, “There is another reward of cooking that fascinates and motivates me: it is excellent training in practical magic. By that I mean that cooking gives you a chance to practice the esoteric art of manifestation — bringing something from the imagination into physical reality.”

25. Blogging from the Heart with Susannah Conway, one of the best ecourses I ever took. Registration opens Wednesday September 9th and class starts Monday October 5th.

26. Meditation and the Truth of Suffering, a dharma teaching from Sakyong Mipham.

27. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering—yours, mine, and that of all beings.

28. Five Minutes of Awesomely Real Self-Care, wisdom from Mara Glatzel, “In the beginning, I was ‘busy.’ My work was more important than I was. Saying yes to everyone around me was more important than I was. Being seen as perfect was more important than I was…Tell yourself that you belong in your own life.”

29. Note from the Universe,

Be proud to know as much as you do about life, dreams, and reality. Bask, Jill. It was a long climb up the stairway of enlightenment, and many a battle over false beliefs and mass consciousness have been won.

You don’t have to shout from the roof to live your truth, but don’t shy away from the ignorant; they need you. Nor be intimidated by the wise; they love you. And please don’t ever let self-consciousness keep you from stepping out into a world that would be unimaginably incomplete without you.

You are a vessel of light, a holy ghost, and frankly, so dang “hot.”

30. an antidote to craving abundance on Chookooloonks.

31. Dear Writers And Creative-Types: You Don’t Need Motivation on Terrible Minds.

32. 8 Ways to Finish the Year with Love and Intention from Be More With Less.

33. Fat Girl Running: On A Mission to Challenge Stereotypes.

34. Furiously Happy – Official Book Trailer.

35. Dog Spends A WEEK Guarding Her Trapped Best Friend Until Help Arrives.

36. Inky Path, a great new project from Jena Schwartz and Cidgem Kobu.

37. Susan Piver: Heart Wide Open, Episode 53 on Meditate This, a podcast about the meaning of life.

38. 12 Secrets to Simplifying Your Life and Lightening Your Load from Marc and Angel Hack Life.