Gratitude Friday

elkhorn021. Moving my body. Hiking with Eric and the dogs, long walks, running (yes, you heard that right, I’m doing the “couch to 5k” thing to jump start myself), yoga, stretching.

2. A family who loves me, misses me, wants to see and spend time with me.

3. Neflix and Hulu. My recent favorites were Moone Boy, the new season of Orange is the New Black, and Hector and the Search for Happiness.

gardenkale4. Good Food. Salad made with kale from our garden, soft sweet bran muffins, strawberries, watermelon, corn on the cob, BBQ.

peony045. Peonies. It’s almost the end of the season and I’m going to miss them.

couching05Bonus joy: couching, sweet Sam and silly Ringo, crickets, bird song, new running shoes, the Couch to 5K app on my phone, podcasts, Pema Chödrön, Daily Dharma Gathering (which is FREE this week), Open Heart Project, Shambhala Mountain Center, summer vacation, BBQ, being able to help, being able to rest and heal, Eric, my friends, quiet.

Three Truths and One Wish

peonies031. Truth: I am driven by a need for external approval and permission. Even though I am smart, fundamentally wise and intuitive, I am constantly seeking out a second opinion. Especially when I have a big decision to make or I find myself in a difficult situation, even if I know what’s right, am absolutely certain, I’m uncomfortable unless I get someone I trust to agree, to tell me I’m okay. It’s incredibly painful, but I’m working on it. I’m risking trusting myself, no matter what anyone else might think about it.

2. Truth: When a difficult situation arises, my default is to either avoid it or get too busy to deal with it. This is a pattern I’ve spent a lifetime perfecting, so now that I realize that it doesn’t actually work, that it isn’t the best thing for me, I also realize it’s really hard to shift. Awareness is a good first step, seeing what I’m doing, noticing and paying attention to it. Pausing before acting comes next, getting comfortable with not immediately checking out or rushing off when things get uncomfortable.

3. Truth: Even when I try my hardest to do no harm, to do good, I mess up. There are just too many causes and conditions at work for me to be able to control the outcome of any situation. I was thinking about it this morning when I saw a spider in our bathtub. I typically prefer to move a bug outside if I can, rather than kill it. This morning was a bit different, because on Sunday when we got back from hiking, we were checking Sam for ticks and found three bright red bites on his belly. We don’t know what bug exactly, but when I saw the spider in the tub, I was thinking “it could have been spider bites,” and it made me want to kill it. I didn’t, but when I captured it under a glass, I broke off a part of one of its legs. I released it into the backyard, but who knows what kind of harm I actually did, and I certainly am under no illusion that I somehow saved Sam from ever getting bit again.

One wish: That when we make mistakes, are misunderstood, or find ourselves in the midst of some other difficult situation, we can be gentle and kind, with ourselves and others.

 

Something Good

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1. This photo on Unsplash is how I want to age, near the ocean, taking long walks and sitting in stillness, (although, where’s my dog?). It reminds me of poet Mary Oliver. And I still can’t get over this website, Unsplash, “All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.” And the photos are amazing!

2. On simplifying from Paul Jarvis.

3. The New Normal: Pieces of Grief by Stephanie Wittels Wachs.

4. Every marketing challenge revolves around these questions from Seth Godin.

5. Addiction Is a Disease of Free Will.

6. Wisdom from Hafiz,

I wish I could show you
when you are lonely
or in darkness
the astonishing light
of your own being.

7. When You Feel Pressured and Overwhelmed by Possibilities on Tiny Buddha.

8. money talks with mary anne radmacher by Sherry Belul.

9. Good stuff from Chookooloonks this was a good week list: Portrait of a Quiet Conference Leader and Finding fulfillment.

10. “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” ~Mexican proverb

11. YES! You Can Make Friends As An Adult! (And Exploding Other Limiting Beliefs), Shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

12. The 19 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week. This series makes me laugh.

13. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa,

Being a buddha is not so much being a great scholar who knows all about everything and therefore is enlightened. Being a buddha, being enlightened, is actually being able to tune our mind into that state of being which already exists, which is already liberated, a long time ago.

14. The Dalai Lama’s Daily Routine and Information Diet on Brain Pickings.

15. Jon Stewart Blasts ‘A**hole’ Texas Officer For Pool Party Gone Bad.

16. Brittany Gibbons is the Bomb.

17. He Has A Bad Stutter, But When He Does His Stand Up Act, He’s A Star!

18. Why We Have to #SayHerName After McKinney.

19. Good stuff from Hello Giggles: Jemima Kirke just filled our lives with body positivity wisdom, and This 23-year-old is writing an Instagram memoir—and we’re already hooked, and Miley Cyrus’ ‘Nightmare’ is our new favorite breakup song, and Amy Schumer hilariously crashed this couple’s engagement photoshoot.

20. My plea to the Universe: Show me that I’m not alone from Andrea Scher.

21. How To Make Curly Hair With A T-Shirt.

22. Scientists Blow The Lid on Cancer & Sunscreen Myth.

23. Anne Lamott’s Comments About Caitlyn Jenner Are Just Plain Wrong.

24. Satisfying Arrangements Of Everyday Objects By Emily Blincoe on Bored Panda.

25. Truthbomb #818 from Danielle LaPorte, “(a prayer:) May my suffering be of service.”

26. Patient Japanese Man Takes Pet Giant Tortoise Out for Long Walks. I love how weird humans are, and I love that Eric liked this so much, he sent me the link twice not realizing he’d already sent it.

27. I Quit My Job Today. (And so can you!)

28. Note from the Universe:

In the “real” world, it’s better to have loved and lost, tried and failed, dreamed and missed, than to sit out your turn in fear. Because the loss, the failure, and the miss, however painful, are merely temporary market adjustments, soon forgotten. Whereas the love, the adventure, and the dream are like investments that, for the rest of your life and beyond, never stop paying dividends.

29. Wisdom from Lao Tzu, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

30. thrive portrait: kelly from Chookooloonks.

31. This Guy Singing ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ With Strangers In Traffic Will Make You Smile. (Thanks for sharing, Shellie).

32. A Simple Guide to Making Better Decisions: Why Too Many People Get Paralyzed and What to Do Instead.

33. 5 Habits of Highly Effective Writers: Do these things today for a more productive and inspired writing life.

34. What’s next for me as a writer? on A Design So Vast.

35. sola dosis facit venenum from Rachel Cole.

36. The Gentle Path to a Simple Life from Be More With Less.

37. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

If you are in a time, beautiful friend, where you have done all that you can do…and now you must just wait…take heart. Don’t give up.

Sometimes all that you can do is wait for it to feel better, wait for a bad day to be over, wait for things to work themselves out.

Patience is hard to embrace, and practicing patience is hard to do. But patience teaches us tremendous lessons and rewards us with tremendous gifts. Patience makes us grow in ways that nothing else could. Most things that have lasting value come through doing difficult things.

Sometimes when you have done all that you can possibly do, you just have to wait.

Keep your heart open, keep believing what you believe. Keep your thoughts toward where you are headed, and how you WANT to feel, toward what is ahead. Do you best to learn in the moment. Do your very best.

Things will turn around, just like they always do. Life will work out, just like it always does. You will be through this before you know it.

38. 25 tips for (a delightfully old-fashioned) summer vacation.

39. 7 Amazing Quotes from David Sedaris’ Reddit AMA.

40. Cosette & Henri – A Story of Two Puppy Mill Dogs.

41. She was tired of just letting the depression consume her. So she set up her camera and took these.

42. Diane Sawyer Shares The ‘Genius’ Marriage Advice She’ll Never Forget (VIDEO).

43. Billy Bob Thornton Has ‘Never Trusted Happiness’ Since His Brother’s Death.

44. This 400 Sq Ft Cabin Is Cute, But Seeing The Inside…

45. Sanskrit Pronunciation of Yoga Poses.

46. 10 Photos of Interracial Couples Show the Impact of ‘Loving v. Virginia’ 48 Years Later.

47. 25 Portraits of American Indians You Might Not Have Seen (No Curtis!).

Day of Rest

elkhornmeandsam02I went hiking with Eric and the dogs this morning. I hadn’t gone in a long time and I really needed it. We went up by Red Feather Lakes and hiked various parts of the Elkhorn Creek, Granite Ridge, and Molly Lake trails. We got lost a few times and had to reroute once because of flooding, we got bit by mosquitoes and Sam has some bug bites on his belly, but it was perfect.

graniteridge02elkhorn09elkhorncreek04elkhorncreek03

There were hummingbirds feeding on these flowers, but they were too fast for me to get a good picture

There were hummingbirds feeding on these flowers, but they were too fast for me to get a good picture

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Gratitude Friday

frommygarden1. Peonies. From my garden, and a few roses too.

june2015garden2. Our garden. Flowers, fruits, and veggies.

smartphoneshopping3. Smart phones. How did we grocery shop before we could take pictures and text them to each other?

couching044. My boys. Ringo continuing to grow up little by little while still retaining his ability to make me laugh with his crazy antics. Sam behaving himself so well on a play date with a puppy he was meeting for the first time.

dogswaiting5. Sleepy dogs. I love how sweet they look, how willing they are to cuddle, the deep sighs, the way they chase and bark at stuff in their dreams.

ringonapBonus joy: how green everything is, how well our garden is doing because of all the rain and the sun, strawberries from our own garden, upick berries from Garden Sweet, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies as big as my head, Orange is the New Black Season 3, having the money to be able to put a new roof on the house and whatever else needs done, good friends who will listen to me complain, a partner who will listen to me cry, long walks with the dogs, yoga, Professor Blastoff podcasts, Skype dates with creative and interesting women, trusting that if I keep showing up I will figure out how to write this book that I’m trying to write, naps, summer vacation, being able to change my mind.

Three Truths and One Wish

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The first peony opening in my garden

1. Truth: I read a lot of books at once. It’s a bad habit I picked up in graduate school, where each week I had to make it through hundreds of pages of content, and no matter how good it might be I could never read just a single book from beginning to end because there was too much other reading to do. That approach stuck with me. Right now I’m actively reading five books, and in the midst of at least ten more.

2. Truth: Through books, I can access so much wisdom. But I’m not a snob. I think that there is the same kind of wisdom available online, on television, in films, on stage, etc. — anywhere that humans are endeavoring to tell the truth, to share their stories, there is wisdom to be found.

3. Truth: At least once a day, but usually more, I encounter truth that has the potential to change everything. This morning, it happened while reading Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. I saw myself so clearly in the way she talked about how we cover up our discomfort with short term solutions and distract ourselves from our deepest longings with busyness. It goes back to what Adreanna Limbach said about laziness. I can see how easily I get confused, but also know there is a way out.

One wish: May we reconnect with our deepest longing, may the next necessary step be obvious and easy, and may we continue to be patient with ourselves and the process.

Something Good

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Dead Man Road, image by Eric

1. Please help Amy keep her belongings. Like I told Amy, every time I’m able to give, to help, my hope is that if I ever find myself in a similar situation, someone will reach their hand out to me. As Ram Dass says, “we are all just walking each other home.” If a lot of people give just a little, Amy won’t lose her things.

2. Green Juice Will Not Cure Your Cancer.

3. Second graders line up to get yearbook signed by janitor.

4. mother. nature. from Pia Jane Bijkerk.

5. Frankly Speaking: How I Found Purpose.

6. Free week of Daily Dharma Gathering. “The free one-week trial of the Daily Dharma Gathering goes live June 15-21! This is daily online live meditation sessions with some of the world’s most accomplished Buddhist teachers.”

7. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Want to be an artist? Watch Groundhog Day, (which just so happens to be one of my favorite movies), and How to graciously say no to anyone.

8. In ‘Eating Lab,’ A Psychologist Spills Secrets On Why Diets Fail.

9. Before You Dismiss the Concept of Thin Privilege, First Ask Yourself These 4 Questions.

10. GLAAD responds.

11. The Moral Bucket List.

12. On Love from Lisa Congdon.

13. The Parting of the Veils from Laurie Wagner.

14. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: curiously strong, and 10,000 hours, and this shared on her this was a good week list,

15. Here’s How To Plan A Week Of Healthy Snacks on BuzzFeed. The two recipes I want to try are the 3 Ingredient No Bake Peanut Butter Oat Squares and the Crispy Kale Chips.

16. David Sedaris Talks About Surviving the Suicide of a Sibling.

17. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide (Robyn Sherwell Cover). I’m a sucker for every version of this song.

18. Good stuff on Lion’s Roar: Dharma gates are everywhere, says Melissa Blacker and A Day in the Life of the Dalai Lama.

19. A Brief Guide to Kick-Starting Your Memoir — Part 3: Where to Begin.

20. Dogs Steal the Show in This Time-Lapse Pregnancy Video.

21. Watch The Broadway Casts Of “The Lion King” And “Aladdin” In “Pitch Perfect”-Style Airport Sing-Off.

22. Amy Schumer: ‘I’m 160 Pounds, and I Can Catch a Dick Whenever I Want.’

23. A Letter from My Heart to Yours: Why Feminism Matters by Julie Daley.

24. After viral Caitlyn Jenner post, Salem man reconsiders — and sees some irony.

25. Wisdom from Bill Murray, “The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”

26. Artist Hand-Cuts Insanely Intricate Paper Art From Single Sheets Of Paper.

27. Begin it now, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

28. The Long Goodbye: Angelo Merendino photographed his parents waving farewell every time he left home.

29. The Perfect Thing My Doctor Said About My Life With Chronic Illness.

30. How Long You Can Freeze Everything, In One Chart.

31. saltine crack ice cream sandwiches recipe.

32. Parks & Recreation Final Gag Reel with Season 7 Gag Reel/Bloopers & Final Behind The Scenes Clips.

33. I Went Paleo and Now I Hate Everything.

34. Luscious Legacy Project Living Room Tour. “A gathering. A writing circle. A community of story keepers and recipe collectors daughters and wives and mothers.”

35. The Morning After: Then and Now.

36. Wisdom from Brave Girls’ Club:

Dear Insightful Girl, You already know the answers to the questions that are eating away at you…you just have to trust yourself enough to really listen and be brave with your decisions. You know oh-so-much-more than you give yourself credit for. You have a good heart and powerful intuition and you really do know the right way to go… That doesn’t mean it’s always the easiest way to go…but the easiest path never was the most fruitful path….and you are one of the courageous souls who seeks the best fruit. Trust your gut…it has never led you astray.

37. Losing Amy: The heartbreaking loss of my sister to mental illness.

38. Blah, blah, blah from Seth Godin. Such good advice.

39. Truthbomb #814 from Danielle LaPorte, “Make space in your life for the inevitable arrival of what you want.”

40. Modifications for Garudasana (eagle pose) in a larger body from Body Positive Yoga.

41. The Life-Changing Magic of Losing Shit.

42. Chapter 20: Happy New Year.

43. Unsplash Free Photos. What a great resource.

44. 8 Things to Remember When Your Relationship Gets Rough from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

45. The Moment I Learned To Live And Love In The Now.

46. Joy Williams on The Civil Wars and Her New Album, VENUS.

47. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

When someone harms us, they create the cause of their own suffering. They do this by strengthening habits that imprison them in a cycle of pain and confusion. It’s not that we are responsible for what someone else does, and certainly not that we should feel guilty. But when they harm us, we unintentionally become the means of their undoing. Had they looked on us with loving-kindness, however, we’d be the cause of their gathering virtue.

What I find helpful in this teaching is that what’s true for them is also true for me. The way I regard those who hurt me today will affect how I experience the world in the future. In any encounter, we have a choice: we can strengthen our resentment or our understanding and empathy. We can widen the gap between ourselves and others or lessen it.

48. Your Most Frequently Asked Writing Questions, Answered! from Terrible Minds.

49. You Never Really Know What Others Are Going Through. The only thing I feel like I need to add here is that there’s no reason for the people who said they wanted to travel or get a job as a journalist in New York, etc., to feel bad about the things they want in light of the suffering of another. We all have the right to our particular experience. Even when others are suffering, we have the right to joy. We don’t have to be blind to or untouched by suffering to experience joy. There’s room for both, and it doesn’t have to be either/or.

50. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: The six types of motivation and The power of “I am.”

51. Wisdom from Friar Richard Rohr, (thanks to Christine Claire Reed for sharing),

Once we see truly what is trapping us and keeping us from freedom we should see the need to let it go. But in a consumer society most of us have had no training in that direction. Rather, more is supposed to be better. True liberation is letting go of our false self, letting go of our cultural biases, and letting go of our fear of loss and death. Freedom is letting go of wanting more and better things, and it is letting go of our need to control and manipulate God and others. It is even letting go of our need to know and our need to be right–which we only discover with maturity. We become free as we let go of our three primary energy centers: our need for power and control, our need for safety and security, and our need for affection and esteem.

52. Harlem Students Cultivate Emotional Intelligence, Lead Each Other in Meditation.

53. Why healthy eating may be the new eating disorder: Raw food and paleo dieters ‘at risk of a dangerous obsession with nutrition.’

54. The Daily Practice.

55. Yes, You Can Have That (Finding My Way Home to My Spirit) from Mara Glatzel.