Category Archives: Susan Piver

Three Truths and One Wish

from our walk this morning

1. Today is my birthday. I am 47 years old, and it’s wonderful to be alive, awake, still here. I feel simultaneously older and yet so much younger than that number. I am not at all where I expected I would be, and my life hasn’t gone the way I imagined it would, and yet where I find myself is so right, so much better than I thought, while also so much more difficult. More than anything, I promised myself I would spend today being exactly who I am, loving and celebrating myself. It’s still morning here, and I think what I’ve given myself today might just need to be the way I live all the time.

2. Susan Piver is brilliant. Her latest video for the Open Heart Project suggests a simple question that she labels “a life changing question.” I finally watched it this morning and it was so perfectly timed, such a great way to start my day. Spoiler alert: the question is “who would I be if I took myself seriously?” It reminds me of what Rachael Maddox said recently, how “maybe the magic that was missing all along was the will to be all the way true to the call of your brilliant heart.”

3. I’m still grieving the loss of my Dexter. It’s been almost a year and a half, and I’m only just now able to touch the center of that sadness, which is very much alive, fierce and tender and raw.

One wish: That we take ourselves seriously, and that we celebrate and love and grieve fully, each in exactly our own way.

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Isabel Foxen Duke,

YES, I truly, love and accept my body exactly the way it is — I think it’s cute, I think it’s sexy, and I like the way it looks in my clothes. But that doesn’t mean everyone else thinks so.

The unfortunate reality is that while, I choose not to participate in body-shaming, body manipulating activities (like diets), that doesn’t mean other people aren’t, OR that other people don’t think I should.

No matter how “okay” I am with my body personally, I still have to navigate living in an insanely fat-phobic, thin-privileged, diet-culture world. And that will likely continue to be the case until the day I die (although, God knows I’m doing everything in my power to try and change it).

A big part of doing “body image work” means learning how to handle having different opinions about weight, beauty, and/or “health,” than other people. And that’s something that, unfortunately, doesn’t go away.

At the end of the day, accepting our bodies doesn’t mean that life becomes all rainbows and unicorns — it simply means that instead of making the globally pervasive thin-ideal our problem, we start to see it for what it is: society’s problem.

2. The First 5 Most Frustrating Things About Simplicity (plus solutions) from Be More With Less.

3. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: Standard Out of Office Messages Are Boring. Try This Instead, and Good Question, and What are you devoted to creating… in the new year? [a worksheet to help you focus & find the right words].

4. A Better Organizational Strategy: Throw Away Everything That Doesn’t Make You Happy.

5. “On the All of It” – Going Om from Marianne Elliott. (Thanks for sharing, Tina).

6. The tiny cost of failure from Seth Godin.

7. Good stuff from Medium: How to live like a motherfucker, How to Write, Tell a four-word story, What Habits Are Best for Creativity?, and On Kindness.

8. The Quickstart Guide to Quitting a Bad Habit on Zen Habits.

9. Let yourself have days to be a perfectly imperfect human being from Brave Girls Club.

10. I Won’t Let You Down by OKGo.

11. Shared on Positively Present Picks: Weekend Do: Rest and Reset and Amy Poehler’s Radical Niceness.

12. 9 Essential Books That Will Transform Your Writing Forever, shared on Tammy’s Happy Links list.

13. The Here Year: Wellness on A Design So Vast.

14. Where Would You Sleep In This 86-Square-Foot Paris Apartment?

15. Wisdom from Krishna Das, “Love is what we are; we don’t get it from somebody, we can’t give it to anybody, we can’t fall in it or fall out of it. Love is our true Being.” Also from Krishna Das,

As far as I’m concerned the only thing we need to renounce is our self-hatred and judgement of ourselves, and our sense of unworthiness, and our sense that we are not worthy of love. This is where we should start. If we could just work with that place a little bit the whole quality of our lives would change.

16. This Woman Set Up An Instagram To Show The Shocking Truth Of Being A Woman Online on BuzzFeed.

17. Wisdom from Dan Pearce,

Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It’ll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called “perfection,” which will open the doors to the most important relationships you’ll ever be a part of.

18. Addiction recovery takes body as well as spirit, a piece about Jennifer Matesa and her new book, (it’s SO good), The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober.

19. Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper. How to Not Cheat on Your Creative Life. from Rachael Maddox.

20. Molly Crabapple’s 15 rules for creative success in the Internet age.

21. Truthbomb #659 from Danielle LaPorte, “Take up space.”

22. Comfortable: 50 People 1 Question.

23. Anne Lamott: “We stuffed scary feelings down, and they made us insane” on Salon, in which she says,

Grief is just so scary. Our grief and rage just terrify us. If we finally begin to cry all those suppressed tears, they will surely wash us away like the Mississippi River. That’s what our parents told us. We got sent to our rooms for having huge feelings. In my family, if you cried or got angry, you didn’t get dinner.

We stuffed scary feelings down, and they made us insane. I think it is pretty universal, all this repression leading to violence and fundamentalism and self-loathing and addiction. All I know is that after 10 years of being sober, with huge support to express my pain and anger and shadow, the grief and tears didn’t wash me away. They gave me my life back! They cleansed me, baptized me, hydrated the earth at my feet. They brought me home, to me, to the truth of me.

24. Wisdom from the Journey of Love deck by Alana Fairchild, (shared by Susannah Conway),

There are many teachers on this path, some humble, some wise, some great companions on your life journey and some who will enter in and out of your life quickly, perhaps imparting a helpful word or teaching you a more challenging lesson about trusting and relying upon your own wisdom. The greatest teacher, however, is Life itself. You can trust your own experiences and know that it is the divine spark within you, the life within you, that is the one true teacher who carries you home in reawakened reunion with the Divine.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

The Buddhist master Shantideva set forth a path for training in spiritual warriorship. In his text The Way of the Bodhisattva, he explains how the bodhisattva or spiritual warrior begins the journey by looking honestly at the current state of his or her mind and emotions. The path of saving others from confusion starts with our willingness to accept ourselves without deception.

You would think that a training whose intention was to prepare us to benefit others would focus exclusively on other people’s needs. But the majority of Shantideva’s instructions entail working skillfully with our own blind spots. Until we do this, we are in the dark about how other people feel and what might soothe them.

26. Wisdom from Susan Piver,

Meditation is more than a technology to employ on the path to success or even health. It is a method for communicating with your own brilliance. It is a way to relate with the mystery of your life. Something, everything, is trying to communicate with you. When we use meditation as a means to instruct our reality rather than listen to it, the magic disappears.

27. Because I Love to Make You Laugh and Why I Failed Nutrition Coaching 101 from Sue Ann Gleason. The video at the end is still making me laugh.

28. Why You Have To Destroy Doubt To Create The Life You Want on MindBodyGreen.

29. none of it was a mistake on Effervescence.

30. Wisdom from Jo Pillmore, “We are not here to be perfect. We are here to be whole.”

31. Free Mandala Workshop from Julie Gibbons.

32. Beautiful Things, River Teeth’s weekly column which “features very brief nonfiction that finds beauty in the every day.”

Glimpses, glimmers, meditations, moments, reflections, refractions, interrupted shadows, river shimmers, darkened mirrors, keyholes, kaleidoscopes, earring hoops, slabs of cracked granite, cracks where the light gets in. Beautiful things.

33. Little Hamster Bartenders Serving Tiny Food and Drinks on Bored Panda.

34. What Has Become Clear from Gerri Smalley.

35. Woman Photoshops Herself Into Her Mom’s Childhood Pictures For Touching Photo Series.

36. Note from the Universe, “If you keep asking ‘May I?’ Jill, I’ll keep asking ‘Will you?’ It’s never been up to me.

37. Holiday Hungers from Rachel Cole.

38. Thrive on Chookooloonks.

39. What It’s Like As a Bartender to Watch Your Awkward Tinder Date.

40. Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ Fits Almost TOO Perfectly With Aerobic Dance Video From 1989. Having lived through the Jane Fonda french cut leotard and big bangs era myself, this made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

41. Wisdom from Galway Kinnell, (shared by Lindsey),

To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.

42. Ready as I’ll ever be, from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

43. Where to Begin? Judith Kitchen from Jeff Oaks.

44. The Disease of Being Busy from On Being.

45. After A Death, Should We Get A Dog? Brain Study Signals “Yes.”

46. Navigate Your Life: Anna Guest-Jelley, an interview with Jennifer Louden.

47. Wisdom from Jen Lemen,

i don’t know if this path is for everyone.
i don’t know if it should be.
but if it is for you, i know how incredibly painful it is to pretend otherwise, and how difficult it is to constantly question yourself because you have this pain and this truth pulsing inside you that makes it nearly impossible to blow anything off or to try to be like everyone else.

48. Antonya Nelson’s Ten Writing Rules.

Something Good

1. Wisdom from The Zen of an Aching Heart by Jack Kornfield,

Sometimes suffering the losses and the unexpected betrayals and break-ups that befall each of us becomes the places where we grow deepest in our capacity to lead an authentic and free life. Often by working our way through our difficulties, our ability to love and feel compassion for ourselves and others deepens, along with the wisdom that will help us through similar problems in the future. And learning how to survive our present difficulties is one of the few things that will help us to know the right things to say and do when others whom we love suffer as well.

2. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, The Most Important Words of My Life and Don’t Live Somebody Else’s Dream.

3. Why I Will Never Use Microsoft Word Again by Jeff Goins.

4. Real Love Is a Choice on Huffington Post.

5. Simplicity is Not a Destination from Be More With Less.

6. Healing for the Inner Good Girl from Mara Glatzel.

7. Wisdom from Anna Guest-Jelley‘s newsletter,

I’ve recently been reading The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be by Mark Nepo…I wanted to share with you one of the gems from the book that I’m continuing to carry in my heart: “No matter how hard we work, the aim and purpose of practice is not to be done with it, but to immerse ourselves so completely in life by any means that we for the moment, are life itself living. Excellence, if we achieve it, is a welcome by-product of complete immersion. But the reward for practice is a thoroughness of being.”

8. How to train for your writing marathon from Sarah Selecky.

9. My Sweet Lil Fifties Rig, Reborn! from Laura Resau.

10. Raising Geeks from Brittany, Herself.

11. This Humans of New York post, “Before medical school I was really into music.” He has the most beautiful voice, like make you want to cry beautiful.

12. “When I Meander, I Discover”: A Q & A with Dani Shapiro.

13. This Is the Human Behind “Humans of New York.”

14. 22 Perfect Ways To Respond To A Text From Your Ex from BuzzFeed.

15. Wisdom from Mark Van Doren, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

16. Why I Put Down That Green Smoothie on Elephant Journal.

17. 3 Buddhist Beliefs That Will Rock Your World (And Make You Much Happier!) on MindBodyGreen.

18. Letters to the Living No. 5: On Gentleness, Wrestling with a Wounded Angel.

19. 9 Year-Old Spanish Boy Becomes Young Wildlife Photographer Of The Year on Bored Panda.

20. Natty Valencia Fixes Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.”

21. Wisdom from John Muir, (by way of Jessica Patterson), “Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.”

22. Brittany Maynard, 29-Year-Old With Terminal Cancer, Explains Why She’s Delaying Ending Her Life. And sadly, just a few days after I watched the latest video, this: Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life.

23. This Upsetting Video Shows One Woman’s Street Harassment In A Single Day, and the parody video, This Is What Walking In New York City As A White Man Looks Like, both on BuzzFeed.

24. Beautiful, brutal wisdom from Isabel Abbott, remember and release: a list of love and letting go and Where Memories Dwell.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word that means “noble or awakened heart.” …It is equated, in part, with our ability to love. It is said that in difficult times, it is only bodhichitta that heals. When inspiration has become hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself.

26. A Life Enchanted.

27. Gathering my selves from Susannah Conway.

28. 30 Days To Better Hand-Lettering E-Course, shared on Positively Present Picks.

29. This quote about how being an artist is different from being “a lawyer, scholar, mechanist, typist, scientist, production assistant, or what-have-you.”

30. Pen & Ink, Tattoos & The Stories Behind Them on Medium.

31. all of me from Lisa Field-Elliot.

32. Carolyn’s Lovely, Freeing Eating Guide from Rachel Cole.

33. Maintenance: some notes from Jeff Oaks.

34. Not If, But When from Dani Shapiro.

35. Wisdom from David James Duncan,

If we feel the Unspeakable and then try to speak of what we felt, we sound like fools. But if we feel the Unspeakable and don’t speak, we feel like ingrates. I’m inclined toward gratitude. So, foolishly, I speak.

36. what I think you should eat from seed & feather. I can’t agree more with this:

So what do I think people should eat? Here’s the list.
1. Enough.
2. What you need.
3. Whatever you want.

37. How To Exercise Out Of Self-Love And Not Due To Fat-Shaming. Amen.

38. Which reminds me of some of my favorite lines of poetry from Osho,

Don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Move the way love makes you move.
Move the way joy makes you move.

39. The 9 Most Overlooked Threats to a Marriage from Huffington Post.

40. Susan Piver talking about the four noble truths of relationships. So good.

Trust in Basic Goodness

In the Open Heart Project Sangha, our recent topic for contemplation and discussion has been basic goodness. I’ve written about it here before, but this morning I was reminded of something else I wrote that I want to share with you — specifically because I was thinking about how self-compassion begins with trust in basic goodness. Over a year ago now, my friend Joy put together a 30-day ecourse, called Illuminate Your Heart Whispers: 30 Days of Love Prompts. She invited me to contribute, and I wrote the following about basic goodness.


basicgoodnessskyMy mission in life is to ease suffering, in the world and in myself. My method is trust in basic goodness. My practice is knowing that I am basically good, resting in this truth, and living with this understanding at the heart of everything.

“Basic goodness is our inherent wisdom and compassion, the fundamental nature of all sentient beings. We all possess basic goodness — genuine openness, intelligence, and warmth. Basic goodness is whole and complete, as it is. It is unconditional and does not depend on our accomplishments or fulfilling our our desires,” (Chogyam Trungpa). It is not something we own, or can generate or earn — it simply is.

I am already whole, all of us are — this is basic goodness. I am not a problem to be fixed, or a project to take on, and neither are you, nor anyone else. You are not — no matter what advertising, religion, culture, or that little meanie with sharp teeth that lives in the dark might say – you are not basically bad, you are not unworthy or unlovable.

Certainly, we also might be confused, hurt, discontent, and lost in delusion, and we often cause suffering from this state, but our fundamental nature is always there, intact and available. Our basic goodness is like the sky, clear blue and spacious and enduring — everything else is simply the weather.

You have basic goodness, a deep wisdom and compassion, available to you every moment. It’s right there inside, waiting all the time. No matter what mistakes you have made or bad luck you have, it remains, it cannot be used up or smashed to bits, no matter how hard you might try, how violently you resist, how fast you might run, no matter what happens to you.

Basic goodness is what is precious about each and every one of us. It is what makes us shine and sparkle, what fuels love and right action and great work. It is medicine and magic and maitri, (“loving-kindness”). It is the only thing that is unchangeable, unconditional.

Basic goodness is freedom. “If you are ever going to be free, you must be willing to prove to yourself that your inherent nature is goodness, that when you stop doing everything else, goodness is there,” (Cheri Huber).

You are who you are, you are basically good and you can’t change that, no matter how you try. Certainly, you can change habits or opinions or affiliations or memberships or addresses or hairstyles, but that fundamentally true part of you, that collection of love and wisdom and dirt and breath and blood is basically good, and in a way that is you as only you can do it. It is the best, most brilliant you can give, and the most brave you can be.

It’s such good news, no one believes it. – Chogyam Trungpa

Take a moment with me right now to pause and rest in basic goodness. Right now, in this very moment, place your hand over your heart, feel the warmth there, the beating of your heart, the rise and fall of your breath, and say “I am basically good.” Notice if any resistance arises as you say those words. Be curious about that, but gentle. Take a deep breath and say it again, “I am basically good.” Rest in the deep knowing that this is true.

We can love and accept ourselves, our reality, exactly as we are and exactly as it is. No need for self-improvement or change, no need to earn this. We can simply drop the trying and accept ourselves, exactly as we are. It takes courage to trust in basic goodness, to believe that it is our fundamental state, to believe so of others, but if we can it is the path to freedom and love. Relax completely into who you are, aware in each moment of your basic goodness, your natural wisdom and kindness, and in this way you will be of benefit both to yourself and the world.

My meditation instructor, Susan Piver, has shared a mantra that I would like to offer to you as you develop your confidence in basic goodness. It goes like this:

I am basically good.
All beings possess such goodness.
Knowing this, my heart opens.
When my heart opens, the world changes.

I invite you, kind and gentle reader, to join me, in trusting and resting in basic goodness, in keeping our hearts open. In this way, we can ease suffering, in ourselves and in the world.

What I Don’t Want to Talk About

It’s been a tender morning for me. Ringo woke us up around 3 a.m., with that heaving and gagging that every half asleep parent knows will result in the need for a change of bedding. He threw up a wad of grass wrapped around a small rock, probably eaten when he dug a big hole outside at daycare yesterday, (he had help apparently, and they still adore him). I’m struggling right now with issues relating to the dogs, health and training specifically, some of which is Eric and I’s shared struggle (sometimes our struggle with each other) and some of which is mine alone.

Eric took the dogs hiking, so I’ve been by myself all morning, and yet not alone but rather in relationship with so many people, their wisdom and their suffering.

robinwilliamsrollingstonecoverI started my morning reading a recent Rolling Stone article about Robin Williams. In it, Tom Hanks says, “He had wisdom born of all the burns and scars of his life, and he was funny about it.” Revisiting that loss reminded me of another.

perfectpuppyI bought this book in the weeks before we got Ringo, firstly because of the Cattle Dog Lucy who’s the main subject, in so many pictures throughout. Truth be told, this book kind of made me feel like crap about myself, but reinforced what I was learning about the shift in dog training to positive methods, offers good strategies and sound advice.

The author Dr. Sophia Yin committed suicide this week at 48. She was a pioneer of the humane training movement. Both Sophia and Robin were healers in their own fields, her through her vet care and by helping people build good relationships with their pets, him through entertainment and laughter. I’m contemplating this morning how you can do so much good in the world and still suffer so deeply you can’t see a way through it.

After writing my morning pages, I took a shower and sat to meditate. After that, I watched the first video from Susan Piver for her newly launched Open Heart Project Sangha, which was all about basic goodness, what she calls “square one.”

For some reason, as Susan was talking about basic goodness, I remembered scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing a picture of a cute fuzzy puppy with the caption, “Ready for a cuddle now.” I was shocked, surprised by my reaction, which wasn’t an immediate softening, no sense of “awww, how cute,” but rather a sense of dread, the thought that “one day that sweet fuzzy is going to break someone’s heart into a million pieces.” You know you are in a rough, tender place when the picture of a cute puppy, rather than making you feel warm & fuzzy, comforted and soothed, instead reminds you of loss, grief, and suffering.

Baby Sam

Baby Sam

Susan ended her dharma talk on basic goodness by sharing that she recently asked Tara Brach, “How is it possible to bear walking through this world in an open state?” This is an important question, because as Susan said herself, we all wonder how, “How am I supposed to walk through this world with an open heart when it’s such a crazy world, when it’s so hard and there are so many things that are so friggin’ painful that I feel like I might literally die if they touch me?”

Tara’s answer was simply “sangha.” The simplest definition of sangha is “community.” We can’t do it alone, and having a community, a place to belong where we can be genuinely ourselves, connect with others, find support, be in relationship, and as Susan describes “together and separately…dare to have confidence in basic goodness” is essential to being able to keep our hearts open, to be able to withstand what’s hard and feel the full wonder of what is beautiful.

I’m guilty of isolating myself. Of disconnecting, shutting down, spending too much time in my own head and by myself. Some of this is time I genuinely need to recharge, to rest and restore, but some of it isn’t so healthy. I get confused, think it’s up to me to solve every problem, to control and fix everything, that there is no help. I can easily sink into despair. I’ve had my own thoughts of suicide. I know there are some people who don’t want to believe that, who would reject and dismiss it, and I don’t feel entirely comfortable confessing it, but it’s true.

My life rehab started with the simple wish to “be a better friend to myself.” Not to be a better person, not to become successful or accomplish things and make stuff, but to practice maitri — loving compassion towards the self. I have a strong sense that right now that means two things: to accept help, to seek out connection and community, and to be gentle with myself.

kitchenbasicgoodnessI started to practice this open gentleness right after I finished Susan’s video. I went into the kitchen to make myself some French Toast. When I reached for the bowl, I noticed the greenness of the green, the way the light reflected off the smooth edges, how much it reminded me of jade. Then, the plate with its branch and buds, how it is square and round at the same time. Both of them sitting side by side on the countertop I chose over ten years ago because it reminds me of rice paper. I got out the bread, dense and whole and heavy with seeds. When I was done cooking my toast, I scrambled the remaining eggs to give to the dogs later and washed the pan. I noticed, let things touch me, was softened by the wholehearted effort I put towards nourishing myself.

It’s a start.

The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ~Pema Chödrön

Something Good

1. Playing the Odds from Rachel Cole. If this seems confusing when you first read it, I beg you to keep reading it, over and over, until it starts to make sense. It’s such an important shift, revolutionary.

2. Square One from Susan Piver, her message for the Open Heart Project in which she talks about basic goodness, saying it is, “Something real, something gentle, something fierce.”

3. Wisdom from Alexandra Franzen, from her most recent newsletter, “If you can help even just one human being to feel stronger, braver, safer, more connected, more hopeful, more informed, more inspired, or more loved through your words… you have done a great service.”

4. Fuji in a Trash Bag: A non-hiker’s guide on how not to climb a mountain on Medium.

5. Technology hasn’t Changed Us. Things haven’t changed as much as you might think. on Medium.

6. So much wisdom from Pema Chödrön, a list of links to various articles she’s written.

7. These Ladies Stood In Front Of An Interactive Mirror Without Knowing What To Expect. So sweet.

8. Wisdom from Isabel Foxen Duke, “Why would you choose the perception of reality that makes you feel bad, when you could just as easily choose what makes you feel good?”

9. How to Get Unstuck, wisdom from Andrea Scher.

10. What Keeps Me Awake at Night, a list from Laurie Wagner.

11. Wisdom from Don Miguel Ruiz, “Death is not the biggest fear we have. Our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive—the risk to be alive and express what we really are.” (Thanks to Sandra for sharing).

12. Truthbomb #630 from Danielle LaPorte, “Stillness requires courage.” And, Truthbomb #631, “Have a conversation with the aching.”

13. The Path of Pausing, more wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

The primary focus of this path of choosing wisely, of this training to de-escalate aggression, is learning to stay present. Pausing very briefly, frequently throughout the day, is an almost effortless way to do this. For just a few seconds we can be right here. Meditation is another way to train in learning to stay, or, as one student put it more accurately, learning to come back, to return to being present over and over again. The truth is, anyone who’s ever tried meditation learns really quickly that we are almost never fully present. I remember when I was first given meditation instruction. It sounds so simple: Just sit down, get comfortable, and bring light awareness to your breath. When your mind wanders, gently come back and stay present with your breath. I thought, “This will be easy.” Then someone hit a gong to begin and I tried it. What I found was that I wasn’t present with a single breath until they hit the gong again to end the session. I had spent the whole time lost in thought.

Back then I believed this was because of some failing of mine, and that if I stuck with meditation, soon I’d be perfect at it, attending to each and every breath. Maybe occasionally I’d be distracted by something, but mostly I would just stay present. Now it’s about thirty years later. Sometimes my mind is busy. Sometimes it’s still. Sometimes the energy is agitated. Sometimes calm. All kinds of things happen when we meditate—everything from thoughts to shortness of breath to visual images, from physical discomfort to mental distress to peak experiences. All of that happens, and the basic attitude is, “No big deal.” The key point is that, through it all, we train in being open and receptive to whatever arises.

14. You are Imperfect and Needy. I Love That About You. wisdom from Mara Glatzel.

15. Holy wow, this Note from the Universe, “Jill, do you know what’s a 1,000,000 times better than getting to the top the mountain? Getting there, after having been lost.”

16. The Koshas: 5 Layers of Being from Yoga International.

17. Wisdom from Gloria Steinem, “In depression you care about nothing. In sadness you care about everything.” (Thanks for sharing, Susan).

18. Mary Lambert “Secrets” (Stank Remix) // Hits 1 // SiriusXM. “Seriously, guys. I told you I don’t hold anything back.”

19. Street Art Spotter: Dallas Clayton Spreads Good Vibrations Across L.A.

20. The World’s Simplest Learn to Run Program.

21. Wisdom from Rumi, “Oh my friend, all that you see of me is just a shell, and the rest belongs to love.”

22. Wisdom from Lodro Rinzler, “In the Buddhist context, giving up means that you are surrendering everything that is holding you back from experiencing reality in a direct and pure manner.”

23. Shared on Chookoloonks’ This Was a Good Week: Slow & Steady, and My Jam.

24. Sam Pepper Exposed. This makes me so angry, but I’m so happy people like her are making videos like this.

25. Breaking the Pattern of Feeling Unworthy and KEY to Self-Esteem from Kute Blackson.

26. Wisdom from Galway Kinnell, (shared before, but so worth doing so again),

We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems–the ones that make you truly who you are–that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person–someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”

27. This Converted Cave in France Cost $1.35. I want to go to there.

28. Wisdom from Buddha, “Three things cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” (Thanks to Positively Present for sharing).

29. Shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: Mary Oliver on the Magic of Punctuation and a Reading of Her Soul-Stretching Poem “Seven White Butterflies” and Lena Dunham gives great advice.

30. Shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list last week: 10 of the best first date questions…possibly ever (Alexandra Franzen is the queen of prompts), and Lisa Congdon on Creative Evolution (Episode 3 of Tiffany Han’s new podcast, “Raise Your Hand. Say Yes.”), and Thai Chicken Chopped Kale Salad recipe.

31. Wisdom from Nayyirah Waheed,

the becoming | wing
be easy.
take your time.
you are coming
home
to yourself.

32. Wisdom from Clementine Paddleford, “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” (Thanks to Amanda for sharing).

33. A Sweet List of Things to Remember on Rebelle Society.

34. How Neil Gaiman Stays Creative In An Age Of Constant Distraction.

35. “You Don’t Get What You Wish For; You Get What You Believe,” wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

36. Freedom in 704 Square Feet. *swoon*

37. Mod Kitchen Furniture DIY from This (sorta) Old Life. I love this kitchen, the space and the light.

Something Good

ericaspens05

image by Eric

1. Stop Fighting Food by Isabel Foxen Duke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. Be stubborn from Sarah Selecky.

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

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

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

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

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

20. The Mind and the Heart from Jack Kornfield.

21. Wisdom from Paolo Coelho,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

35. Buddha Statue Brings Peace to Oakland Neighborhood.

36. 25 Famous Women on Childlessness.

37. Two elements of an apology from Seth Godin.

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

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

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

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

42. The happiest baby wombat in the world.

43. Wisdom from Mary Oliver,

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

44. Wisdom from Rilke,

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

45. Wisdom from Anita Krizzan,

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

46. Almost there from Kat McNally.

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

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

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

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