Category Archives: Susannah Conway

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.

Gratitude Friday


1. Time with friends. I got to spend some with three of them this week. I hadn’t seen them in awhile, and it was so good to be with them. We ate, laughed, cried, got covered in dog hair, and talked about important deep heart stuff.

2. My birthday. I’m happy to be celebrated, but also feel so grateful and lucky to get another year. I got to talk to my mom and brother, received some sweet gifts, was the center of a day long love fest on Facebook, and Eric made me a pie.


3. Winter lights in Old Town. I just love them so much.


4. Ringo Blue turned two years old yesterday. I posted this picture on Facebook and Instagram, with this caption: “The first time I heard about him, I felt a flutter of knowing. The first time I saw a picture of him, I knew. The first time I held him, I was sure. Today when I was taking pictures of him as he tried not to fall asleep in his favorite chair, I could tell when he looked at me that he knew too.”


5. Eric. For the pie, for walking the dogs every day twice a day while my foot rests, for taking them hiking too, for the sweet birthday card and the pie, and for making me laugh.


Bonus joy: Two weeks down on the bathroom renovation and two to go (the latest: we have walls and they got painted today), the half bathroom at the back of our tiny house, how (mostly) good the dogs have been with all the chaos, a weekend off followed by a whole week off for Thanksgiving break, yoga, a chance to sub for my favorite class next week, sleep, clean water, Susannah Conway’s new ecourse “The Inside Story: Running a Heart-Centered Business” which is so good and perfectly timed it’s blowing my little mind.

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


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.

Something Good

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

1. The homeless man who turned his life around by offering book reviews instead of begging. “You don’t have to be rich to save the world,” Philani Dladla, The Pavement Bookworm. The foundation he started is really cool.

2. Students protesting Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home”: How clinging to “Christian moral beliefs” can end an education before it even begins on Salon. “Liking is not learning, of course — and learning is not always comfortable.” And in related news, Alison Bechdel Would Like You to Call It the “Bechdel-Wallace Test,” ThankYouVeryMuch.

3. A Question of Prosperity from Meghan Genge in which she considers what it means to feel prosperous.

4. Open Letter to Native College Students.

5. It’s Not Just ODU Students Putting Up Offensive Signs About Freshman Girls. Not something good so much as something you should know about. I wonder what the parents of these young men think about this? What do their mothers think?

6. Why America Needs a Slavery Museum. I’m still surprised there is currently only one.

7. Modern ‘train-nomad’ chooses to live on trains instead of renting. In related news, I secretly lived in my office for 500 days.

8. Hurricane Katrina happened ten years ago. It’s just as devastating ten years out. These Are The Forgotten Images Of Hurricane Katrina, and The 85 Most Powerful Hurricane Katrina Images, and This American Life 565: Lower 9 + 10, and 10 Years After Katrina.

9. 10 Successful Entrepreneurs on the Worst Advice They Ever Received.

10. 100 Cameras Were Given To Homeless In London And The Result Left Everyone Speechless.

11. 30 Reasons Why I Write by Jon Westenberg. Things like, “There’s no despair that can’t be held at bay with words,” and “My writing is my own roadmap – it helps me find my way.”

12. why dinner was late last night from SouleMama. It’s a beautiful reason.

13. I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago.

14. The Greatest Commencement Addresses of All Time on Brain Pickings. I know it’s not the right season for this as most students are just going back to school not graduating, but if you want some serious inspiration this is the place.

15. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

If you want to know real freedom, you must learn forgiveness. That doesn’t mean collapsing boundaries or giving up or giving in. It doesn’t mean going back. It doesn’t mean absolution or sweeping things under the rug. It means you let go of grasping–and that which has a grip on you. It means reclaiming your own inner sanctuary and ushering out what’s crowding your space. Let go of the need to be right, to be in control, to be understood, to be certain. Let go of what has distracted you from the grace of each moment–your birthright, your presence.

16. No, I Am Not Crowdfunding This Baby (an open letter to a worried fan) by Amanda Palmer, a beautiful contemplation of the tenderness and terror of being a mother and an artist.

17. Boy, 13, Keeps Father Alive After He’s Badly Hurt by Falling Boulder. May we all have someone like this to help when we need it.

18. Brave Girl University is open for enrollment. It is “a one-stop gathering place for learning, growing and becoming, through hundreds of classes taught by dedicated teachers who offer soulful ways to make life better, happier and more authentic for every woman. From painting to gardening to meditation to relationships and much more. . . access it ALL for just $24.95 per month.” I’ve taken classes with many of these teachers, and am amazed by what a good deal this is.

19. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: What If I’m Not Happy With My Weight, and George Takei and Why I Can’t Take a Joke, and Telling Truth to Power.

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

If something isn’t getting you closer to your heart’s most precious goals, if it isn’t making your most important relationships stronger and more valued, if it is not helping you grow and making your heart sing, maybe it’s time to think about letting it go.

If you will listen very very very closely, you will know for sure what to hold on to…and what to let go…and where to spend your precious minutes and energies.

And this,

You know SO much more than you think you know. Each of us was born with a lovely inner compass…it’s there to guide us. We must tune out almost every voice around us to be able to focus on what this inner voice tells us is true for our own lives.

Please don’t give any heed at all to the useless opinions of others, beautiful friend. Act for yourself. Face your own truths…then act on your own truths. Plug your ears when there are annoying, loud, negative voices that have no business giving you opinions about your own life. Turn off the confusing lies, and be brave enough to tune in to that inner voice that speaks your truth. Those feelings in your gut are your deepest wisdom, and you will recognize the voice of truth by the warm and peaceful feelings it brings.

21. 7 Simple Ways to Soothe Your Soul from Be More With Less. “Sometimes your soul needs time to just hang out with your heart, and your truth.”

22. I Had a Baby and Cancer When I Worked at Amazon. This Is My Story.

23. The Monk Manifesto: Seven Principles for Living with Deep Intention. I had never heard of this before Erica Staab posted about it on her blog. It is “a public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.” I think if one were to live according to this manifesto, they would be ridiculously happy, completely content. Or maybe that’s just me.

24. 85 Percent of What We Worry About Never Happens. I heard once that “worrying is like praying for what we don’t want to happen.” This article gives yet another reason why worry is wasted.

25. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s newsletter: I’ve Spent A Lifetime Building a Mighty Network. Here Are My Secrets., and Marshall McLuhan on writing, and The Steal Like An Artist Journal (I want).

26. Sarah Silverman just life-coached everyone who’s felt undeserving. Such a cool perspective. (video)

27. Write Anyway: October, a workshop with Janelle Hanchett. Sometime I really want to do one of these.

28. Good stuff Alexandra Franzen shared in her newsletter: The “Grocery List” Method To Writing Your Bio. (So Easy. For Real.), and Ask Alex & Ellen: I got rejected and now I want to give up. How can I get motivated again?, and What Does The World Need More Of In Order To Heal?, and a podcast interview Alexandra Franzen on Changing with Grace and How To Be More Intentional With Your Time.

29. Shared on Positively Present Picks: Living Your Dreams Will Piss People Off. Do It Anyway., and this quote from Oprah Winfrey, “I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.”

30. Good stuff from Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: The unconscious quality of judgment. And Mötley Crüe, and Annapurna Woman Susannah Conway, (this whole interview series is really great), The Pep Talk Generator, and Things That Will Happen If I Don’t Take My Phone Out Right Now, and Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Lisa Congdon on Passion Projects.

31. Wisdom from Aimée Reed, by way of The Pep Talk Generator mentioned above,

“Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing” — Cormac McCarthy. We all have to do things we don’t like in pursuit of our goals and dreams. However, if you are doing something that doesn’t directly correlate to you achieving them, then stop. Immediately. In reality, we have but a minute on this earth. Work, live, take chances, love, eat, argue, make mistakes, fight, and screw like you have 30 seconds left on the stopwatch.

32. Where Children Sleep, a photo series from James Mollison, “stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms.”

33. When Doing Yoga by Yourself from Bad Yogi.

34. 8 Things I Learned from 10 Months Unplugged on Elephant Journal.

35. Veruca Salt has a new album coming out.

36. Fundraising page for one of my favorite bears who’ll be doing the Out of the Darkness Walk, raising money for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

37. Brene Brown on embracing failure, setting boundaries and living through grief: “It is an act of compassion to love yourself.”

38. 4 Questions that Will Change Your Attitude (When You Can’t Change Anything Else) from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

39. On The Subject Of Your Discouragement on Terrible Minds.

40. Viral Photo Of Syrian Refugee Prompts Strangers To Give Him ‘A New Life.’

#augustbreak2015: Breakfast

PrintThis will be my fourth year doing August Break with Susannah Conway. She describes it this way,

This is a community project that has no real rules — the idea is to simply take a photograph every day for the whole of August. That’s it. Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there. If it’s the summer where you are it’s a lovely way to be present to the moments that will be gone before you know it.

PrintI love how this practice allows me to transition from summer vacation to the beginning of Fall semester and back to work. After four years, it’s familiar and comforting, but also inspiring.


augustbreak2015dayoneI slept in this morning. Instead of getting up at 5 am, I got up at 6. Eric took the dogs on their walk without me, which is good because I’m trying to rest my foot, hoping it will heal faster.

Putting together my breakfast feels like making an offering. I made the bran muffins yesterday morning, with a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. The secret is the blackstrap molasses (which the recipe doesn’t call for) and yogurt (which it does). The muffins are soft and sweet, but not too sweet. I add two kinds of berries and some dried plums to the bowl. I pour myself a glass of cold water, (I gave up coffee at the beginning of the summer). This is the same breakfast I’ve been eating for months. I’m like that, prefer a routine, am satisfied for long periods of time with the same thing on repeat. I enjoy the ritual.

Most mornings, I eat at my writing desk. Because I was later than usual this morning, the sound coming through the open window just over my head is the sprinkler rather than the birds. The whole house fan is on so there is a small breeze. I take out my notebook and write today’s date, realizing it’s time to turn my calendar to a new month. The quote for August is from Caroline Myss, “We are the means through which the world changes. When you pray for change, it is you that is going to change, not the world around you.”

Before I eat or write, I meditate. I usually sit for 10 minutes. I might take a few sips of water, eat a berry or two, but mostly I’m just sitting, breathing, relaxing into the morning, into myself. When I’m finished, I open my notebook and start to write, taking breaks between words to eat a few more berries or take a bite of my muffin or drink more water. I write at least three pages, front and back, every day, no matter what.

Something Good (The Longest List Ever)

image by Eric

image by Eric

I know some of you will be sad about this, but there won’t be a Something Good list next week. I’m taking a week off to visit my family in Oregon, which means I’m taking a week off from blogging. I hope that even without my list, something good will find its way to you, kind and gentle reader. If not, this particular list is long enough, it might take two weeks to get through it all. :)

1. I Was A Single Mom With $6 To My Name. Here’s How I Turned My Life Around.

2. Why I Am No Longer A “Vegetarian.”

3. Artist Turns Old Wooden Doors Into Giant Street Art Murals.

4. 7 Reasons Why Life Is Better Without Booze. The author’s website looks pretty great too: “, a website which brings together a totally non-judgmental community of like-minded people who’ve either kicked the booze or who are looking for help in doing so.”

5. Dear Human: Take Care of Yourself.

6. Awkward Everyday Lives Of Animals By Simpsons Illustrator Liz Climo.

7. Supreme Court Ruling and Christian Outrage.

8. Questions to ask before giving up, (a PDF). Not sure where this originally came from, but thanks to Jessica for sharing.

9. 13 Signs You’re Wasting Life But You Can’t Admit It.

10. Who’s burning black churches? Arsonists hit at least 3 Southern congregations in the last 7 days.

11. Native Children Are Facing A ‘National Emergency.’ Now Congress Is Pushing To Address It.

12. How Your “Someday” List Reveals Who You Really Are And What You Really Want To Do.

13. 10 Mantras to Inspire Your Daily Work.

14. A Former Pro Snowboarder Has Built An Incredible Off Grid Tiny Home.

15. Many in Nation Tired of Explaining Things to Idiots. :)

16. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life, 7 Little Habits that Stole Your Happiness Yesterday, and 15 Reminders You Need When You Feel Like Giving Up.

17. The rejectionists from Seth Godin.

18. My Cancer Pt. II, Medical Fat Shaming Could Have Killed Me.

19. Salt Soap, a cartoon from Lucy Bellwood.

30. Yoga, Bikinis, Facebook And Fat: How A NC ‘Yogi’ Is Reshaping Body Image Using Social Media.

31. What I Learned at Cement Bluff on Rowdy Kittens.

32. How Knitting Made Me A Better Writer.

33. A bunch of wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

It should be the easiest thing of all, shouldn’t it? But it isn’t easy to be true to yourself. Sometimes it is a very lonely road, and a very bumpy road. There are days when we all want to look around at what everyone else is doing and then just do the same so we can go with that flow and just fit in. At least it wouldn’t feel so lonely. Or would it???

You may have tried to fit in, and tried again, and then still again. You may have even “toned it down” enough for a while that you actually DID fit in, but it made your heart hurt and you just couldn’t betray yourself for very long.

If every funky little daisy in the flower garden spray painted herself red so she could hang out with the roses, the world wouldn’t have any variety at all, and what a sad sad sad life for that sunshiny, spunky free-spirited daisy. She was born to be a daisy, after all.

And guess what? the other flowers want her to be a daisy, too. Daisies are WONDERFUL. Be courageous enough to boldly live your own truth. You are so very very very spectacular. Just BE YOU.


One of the worst mistakes we can ever make is to wait and wait and wait for there to be the “right amount” or the “right people” or the “right person” or the “right circumstances” to start living the life that is calling to us. No matter where we are or what we have, there is always a way to get headed in the right direction…and to just begin.

So, dear friend, begin today. Begin with something big or begin with something small, but begin. Begin with one step. And then just take another and another and another and another. If you are waiting for the perfect time to start, the perfect time is now. If you think the time has passed and it’s too late, it is not. Begin today. We really just have to decide that we are going to make something happen, and somehow we will be able to pull together what we need to do it.

As the old Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago — the second best time is today.” Do what you can with what you have right now, today. Begin.


If you’ve felt that you have to do more to “earn” help or comfort or blessings….if you’ve struggled through to prove that you can do it on your own and run yourself into the ground before you ask for help…if you are so busy with your head down, plowing through and suffering…that you simply fail to notice things that would ease your pain that are right in front of you…

…then it’s time, sweet friend, to look around and see what is there to make things better. Notice beauty, good books, music, helpful people, generous offers and random acts of grace. When something shows up, open yourself up to it. You don’t have to earn it, you don’t have to do anything to “deserve” it. Simply noticing it, welcoming it, and saying thank you is enough…

You are worthy of comfort, blessings and help.

34. Good stuff from SF Girl by Bay, homestead seattle and one very fine site: de dujes.

35. Questions for Diet Companies from Dances with Fat.

36. Thoughts Become Things from Rachel Cole.

37. Fat Girl Job Clarification. Also from Brittany Gibbons, “Once I learned to like my body, I cared more about what I put into it.”

38. Good stuff on Christina Rosalie’s blog, Like magic, and To the coast, and Summer is here.

39. ‘The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning.’

40. Jon Stewart doesn’t give a damn anymore: Why the “Daily Show” host has never been more watchable.

41. After Charleston, how a Buddhist outlook can help.

42. A Professor Crowdsources a Syllabus on the Charleston Shootings.

43. Maya Rudolph Parodies Rachel Dolezal on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

44. A Day in the Life of a Modern Poet from Maya Stein.

45. Dear Sugar, Episode 14: How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

46. the day after the longest day of the year from Amanda Palmer.

47. Please Stop Being a Good White Person (TM).

48. This is my house from The Bloggess.

49. Dispatch From Charleston: The Cost Of White Comfort.

50. Here’s Kalief Browder’s Heartbreaking Research Paper On Solitary Confinement.

51. After a Stillbirth, a Silent Delivery Room.

52. How Victoria’s Secret Swimsuits Look On Everyday Women.

53. See How The Most Celebrated Female Bodies In Classic Paintings Would Look With A Photoshop Slimdown.

54. Yes, you’re a racist… and a traitor.

55. I choose to be fat.

56. Addictions to Powerlessness and Becoming Swanlike from Rachael Maddox.

57. Good stuff from The Queso,, Confederate Flags and the South, and Summer Reading Recommendations from an Award-Winning Author and Storyteller, Katherine Center.

58. The Black Feminist’s Guide to the Racist Sh*t That Too Many White Feminists Say.

59. ‘Gone with the Wind’ should go the way of the Confederate flag.

60. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

Loving-kindness is the essence and nature of the whole world and of every being. To see and experience this is to realize who we are. We can all observe that, if someone is in a quiet, undisturbed place—for example, in nature—he or she will become more peaceful. The more peaceful that person becomes, the more joyful, wise, and helpful they will be to others. That is a clue that our human nature in its normal, undisturbed state is not violent or harmful, but loving.

61. How I Quit My Job and Became a Writer.

62. A black man walks into Silicon Valley and tries to get a job…

63. Chapter 23: Forever And Ever.

64. The 30 Day Journal Project, shared in Jen Louden’s post, How Journaling Can Change Your Life or Strait-Jacket Your Creativity.

65. 10 Things to Look Forward to on the Other Side of Busyness from Be More With Less.

66. trigger warning: we are human on lists and letters.

67. money talks with alison luterman.

68. In Her Room: Susannah Conway.

69. Transforming White Fragility Into Courageous Imperfection.

70. What to Do When Your Heart Doesn’t Know What it Wants.

71. Something as simple as smiling can help curb racial bias, study suggests.

72. Why I’m Walking Away From A Profession I Love: Losing Faith, Burning Out & Moving On.

73. No Need for Words.

74. Wisdom from singer Madjo, “In order to create, you first have to exit the darkness. Seize those first notes and let them run wild. Accept that you won’t master them right away.”

75. You are a grown up. Do what you want.

76. Episode 21 | Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

77. Wisdom from George Bernard Shaw, “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”

78. Opening the Question of Race to the Question of Belonging.

79. In which I share 4 reasons why I am NOT against same-sex marriage, an older post that’s still relevant.

80. Interview Someone You Love About Life, Questions from Brendon Burchard.

81. 10 Examples of Straight Privilege.

82. Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person…

83. President Obama Delivers Eulogy at Charleston Shooting Funeral of Clementa Pinckney. You can read the full transcript here.

84. Wisdom from Gavin Newsom,

The unsung heroes are the millions and millions of people across this country that engaged in conversations. And many of those one-on-one conversations made people think twice about their original positions. At the end of the day it was nothing more than the aggregation of those conversations and the courage of people to stand up to even their parents, to say, “No Dad, you’re wrong on this—it’s wrong to deny Uncle Bob the ability to get married; it’s your brother. How dare you subjugate him to second-class status?” It was literally those conversations that changed public opinion, gave politicians more courage, and brought us to where we are today.

85. What Happened To The 9-Year-Old Smoking In Mary Ellen Mark’s Photo?

86. I once led an ex-gay ministry. Here’s why I now support people in gay marriages.

87. An interesting conversation: Here Come the Hippies: Oglala Lakota Tell Rainbow Family to Behave in Sacred Black Hills, and Letter to the Editor: Rainbow Family Member Responds to Readers of Indian Country Today

88. Need A Wall Built? Why Settle For Boring Bricks When You Could Have This!

89. ‘Yoga for Larger Bodies’ Animated Documentary is a Wonderful Story of Healing and Connection.

90. A 30-Second Guide to How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You.

91. Ten Days in June.

92. The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath & a Narcissist. Been there, done that.

93. A blessing from Ronna Detrick, “Sometimes hanging on by even a thread to the tenderest and tiniest inkling of your own value, beauty, and worth changes everything. Don’t let go.”

94. Legislated morality, civil rights, and the Christian response to marriage equality.

95. Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant.

96. Online Is IRL from Terrible Minds.

97. Award-Winning Short Animation About A Lost Soul Meeting Death.

98. Tig, the documentary. I cannot wait to see it!

99. Amy Winehouse Documentary Lets Nobody Off the Hook. Another documentary I can’t wait to see.

100. Creative Portraits Of Artist’s Hands Exploring Different Art Forms.

101. Ease and Routine on Allowing Myself.

102. Miniature Hand Thrown Pottery by Jon Alameda.

103. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s message to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.