Three Truths and One Wish

image by Eric

image by Eric

1. Truth: I am more able than I give myself credit for. I am a harsh critic, spending way too much time fussing over the weak spots, the things not done, the mistakes, and forgetting to notice the wins. I rush right past my good effort without celebration, without joy. I think “I can’t” without even giving myself a chance to try.

2. Truth: Today I’m diving in. I can’t quite explain why but I’m feeling a weird sort of mania — saying yes, signing up, making reservations. Maybe it has something to do with spending the morning home alone taking care of lingering tasks. Maybe I’ve cleared the space necessary for what’s next.

3. Truth: I have something to offer. Knowing that, it’s important not to sit on it, hide it, avoid it, keep it to myself. Holding it in is only generating suffering for me, and possibly keeping something from someone who really needs it.

One wish: May we recognize the brilliant light of our true nature, and may love give us the courage to show up and keep our hearts open.

Something Good

sidedoorcafe1. Wisdom from Debora Smail, “To make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” (Thanks to Karen for sharing).

2. The great PBS NewsHour work-life balance experiment.

3. Nina Simone’s Daughter Says New Documentary About Her Mother Gets It Right.

4. EXCLUSIVE: Bree Newsome Speaks For The First Time After Courageous Act of Civil Disobedience.

5. 5 Genius Gadgets From Japanese Bathrooms That Americans Should Borrow.

6. An Evangelical Pastor At His First Pride Parade.

7. I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.

8. I get food stamps, and I’m not ashamed — I’m angry.

9. Here Are 4 Ways to Navigate Whiteness and Feminism – Without Being a White Feminist (TM).

10. This Flow Chart That Destroys Religion’s Case Against Gay Marriage Is So Easy, Any Zealot Can Use It.

11. ‘Elder: A Mormon Love Story.’

12. Not a Civil Debate.

13. Keep It Simple Book Review on decor8.

14. Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours.

15. How Bestselling Author Austin Kleon Writes, Part One. Austin shared Part Two on his blog.

16. How #AskELJames totally backfired on the ‘Fifty Shades’ author.

17. Truthbomb #832 from Danielle LaPorte, “Your scars are someone else’s signs of hope.”

18. Growing up from Tara Sophia Mohr.

19. How a Devastating Diagnosis Taught me How to Really Live and How to Engage in Social Media without Losing Your Mind and The World is Waiting For You (put it on your to-do list) from Be More With Less.

20. Epilogue: Gussy’s Gone from Sara Seinberg. Because this, “And I lived.”

21. Noisli. “Improve focus and boost your productivity. Mix different sounds and create your perfect environment.”

22. “Spoken word artist Sarah Kay explores time and place in our premiere of #BriefButSpectacular – NewsHour’s new Facebook-first series that every Thursday morning brings you snippets of insight from today’s artists, leaders and thinkers.”

23. Eating Disorder Recovery Advocacy Is Usually Fatphobic – Here Are 4 Ways to Start Fixing That.

24. Good things worth funding: Scott Carver’s Bucket List Fund, and IF WE LEFT: A True Story Movie, and Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant, and Cosette & Henri – A Tale of Two Puppy Mill Dogs, and Robert Davis Memorial fund, and Journey to Heal.

25. This Tumblr Is Exposing Hollywood’s Problem With People Of Colour.

26. Accepting my Sensitivity Healed my Emotional Eating.

26. The Most Adorable and Awesome Sci-Fi Love Story Ever: The One-Minute Time Machine [Video]

27. Wisdom from Thomas Merton, (shared by Susan Piver), “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”

28. The Dalai Lama: A Model of Someone Who Has Lost A Lot.

29. Did This Woman Witness The Worst Date Ever?

30. The Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations, explained.

31. She Was Told She Shouldn’t Be Wearing A Bikini. Her Response? AMAZING!

32. FIFA is giving the U.S. $2 million for its World Cup win. It gave Germany $35 million in 2014.

33. Rashida Jones On Being Sex-Positive But Still Challenging The Porn Industry.

34. See the Photo That Inspired the Internet to Rally Around a Gay Youth. A ‘Humans of New York’ post generated a flood of positive messages, including one from Hillary Clinton.

35. There are 6 Scriptures about homosexuality in the Bible. Here’s what they really say. P.S. All references to homosexuality are in the Old Testament. Jesus never said one word about it, unless you count “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

36. How ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Misrepresents Women’s Federal Prison (And Why It Matters).

37. Hot and Bothered. Air conditioning isn’t bad for you or even (relatively) for the planet.

38. The art of storytelling, according to the founders of StoryCorps and Humans of New York.

39. The Aftermath Of Bill Cosby’s Admission? That’s Rape Culture.

40. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh, (a PDF).

41. Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses. I love tiny houses and the people who live in them, but this made me giggle.

42. Kitten Wasn’t Going To Survive … Until She Met Her Dog Mom.

43. Be a Great Ally to Fat Folks by Getting Neutral about Food.

44. This Adorable Girl Trying To Hula Hoop Failed So Hard She Won. I wish this video were so much longer.

45. It’s Still Me…Only Sadder.

46. David Letterman Goes Top 10 on Donald Trump.

47. The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New.

48. Anti-Courage, my old friend from Kirsten Akens.

49. Do you know what you are committing to? from Life is Limitless.

50. 25 Lessons When You’re Ready for a Simpler Life and 7 Things You Gain When You Let Go of Control from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

51. Revolt against the desk.

52. Good stuff shared by Alexandra Franzen: How I met the love of my life. (A true story about what happens when you say what is true.), and 14 Newsletters You Need in Your Inbox, and What to do when a friend is grieving — and you don’t know how to help, and How to get “back on track” with a goal when you’re backsliding, hard.

53. What If Schools Hired Dogs As Therapists? A school in San Diego uses a “facility dog” to offer children a kind of healing that humans sometimes cannot provide.

54. I, Racist.

55. 6 Things to Know About How to Get Out of Funk Town on Zen Habits.

56. Shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: What Is Privilege?, and Dad And Daughter Face Off In Epic Beatboxing Battle, If Male Actors Were Described The Way Female Actors Are, and Five beautiful things Danny Gregory saw today.

57. Before You Can Write a Book, You Have to Do THIS First…

58. Good stuff from {Peacefulinks #12}: Idea to Awesome: How Jennifer Louden Created Her Online “Life Navigation Course”, and Visual Thesaurus.

59. Found it, doing it: still me from Kat McNally.

60. New music: (shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list), Oh Wonder.

Day of Rest

cecsstairsIt’s so good to be home. And yet, my heart has two homes. No matter which one my body is in, whether Colorado or Oregon, I long for the other. While I was in Oregon last week, I spent part of the day at my aunt’s house in Gleneden Beach. As I mentioned yesterday, to be there, to walk on the sand and hear the ocean but for only a few hours, was simultaneously wonderful and heartbreaking. It just wasn’t enough time, never is.

Which leads directly to another conflict — I want my own house on the beach so I can go whenever and as much as I want, but I also want to live more simply so that I can eventually quit my job at CSU to focus on my writing and teaching. It’s hard to see how I can do both things. For starters, I don’t even know if we’d qualify for a second mortgage big enough to buy a house we’d want, and even if we could, I don’t know if we’d be able to afford the expense and effort of maintaining a second home 1200 miles away. And if we could and did, would I ever be able to leave my job at CSU? And if I don’t, will I ever write the books I’ve been carrying around inside of me, will I ever be able to teach the classes I’ve planned, to lead the retreats and workshops I’ve imagined? First world problems, I know. I also know how lucky I am that this is my “conflict.”

I get frustrated with my life, with myself. It feels like there’s too much possibility and I can’t focus. Some people seem able to be single minded. They can pick one thing, a path, and devote themselves entirely to it. I’m not like that — I want to deeply understand and intensely focus on a lot of things: yoga, meditation, writing, and dog. I want to learn to swim, play the ukelele, take long hikes, go running, eat healthy, cook, take singing lessons, garden, fix up my house, have a house at the beach, write books, read, build a business based on contemplative arts, make art, be an advocate for civil rights, work to dismantle homophobia and fat phobia, help to shift rape culture, do my part to cultivate a society that is wise and compassionate, do work that has meaning, help to change things for the better. Learn all the things and do all the things and fix all the things and experience all the things. How does one have that kind of time or energy?

Sometimes I think of all the things I want and am overwhelmed. When I try to hold them all in my heart and mind while attempting to determine what to do next, I freeze. I’m still figuring out how to make it all work.

This summer has been rough, in that first world problem kind of way. I started off really sick and in a difficult situation that needed addressed at work, which made me depressed. Even as I started to get a bit better, I was still dealing with a lingering health issue that required a lot of attention, self-care, patience. As that gets better, a debilitating pain in my foot means that as I enter week five of the Couch to 5K program there’s a chance I might need to take a week off when it’s already been so hard to keep going. It isn’t just one thing after another but rather many overlapping things that require so much attention, so much extra care.

In part it feels like a bit of a backlash, a rebellion. For so long in so many ways I’ve ignored my body, denied it what it needed, pushed past its very clear boundaries and limits. I understand now that my care, my efforts must be genuine to have an impact. And yet, the need leaves me slightly irritated, impatient, and discouraged. I’m trying to connect with the wisdom of my body, but it’s frustrating. Sometimes it seems like a whiny toddler or one of those people who constantly complains about all her aches and pains. At other times she seems deaf and mute, unreachable, and even though I’m trying to listen, to connect, to understand, she’s an enigma, a complete mystery, and I don’t know what to do. What does she want? What does she need?

Even so, I feel like there has been a significant shift. After years of trying to determine the source of ongoing fatigue, the thing that finally helped was to stop dieting, stop restricting, stop starving myself, stop working out so hard, put on a little weight — a direct contradiction to what culture tells us. And through yoga practice particularly, I have moments of being fully and completely in my body, after years of living mostly in my head and viewing my body as the enemy.

One thing I know is I must feed myself more joy. I’ve been restricting it in service of “getting shit done.” This doesn’t work because there’s always more to do. There is no “done,” and all that effort and focus on what is unfinished, on what is still wrong with no joy leads to depression, despair, deep hunger.

I return to the core teaching, the essential truth: relax. It’s so simple, but somehow not so easy. It doesn’t mean being lazy, sleeping and doing nothing, but rather to soften, be gentle, ease up — in all things. I can watch myself complain about what’s wrong, struggle with myself, generate so much suffering, and feel frustrated, irritated, depressed, or I can see it for what it is, allow it to be and not get too attached to it, be gentle with myself — relax.

 

Gratitude Friday (on Saturday)

oregoncoloradorhyme1. My two homes. Oregon and Colorado, the way they rhyme, the way my heart can’t choose between them.

2. Visiting family and a few friends. It’s never enough time and I’m always sad to leave, but I’m also glad to be home in Colorado again.

momsmarionberrypie3. Marionberry pie. My mom made me one, and at the 4th of July picnic at my aunt’s house, there were three different kinds — and yes, I tried all three.

4. The beach. I only got to spend part of a day there while I was in Oregon, and it was simultaneously wonderful and heartbreaking.

glenedenbeach045. My tiny family. Oh how I miss them when I’m away.

Practicing

Practicing “leave it.” Sometimes Sam looks like a giant compared to Ringo.

6. Our garden. I was only gone a week, but it went crazy, so tall and green. We are now getting a few tomatoes and zucchini and the first sunflower bloomed.
frontgarden02
Bonus joy: good food, watching movies with my mom, walks and dinners with my mom and dad, my dad’s not cat (he doesn’t have a cat, but he does), seeing my nieces and my brother, aunts and uncles and cousins, a big family dinner, thrift store shopping, a rental car with Colorado plates, a safe trip there and back, a little girl on my flight home whose name is also Jill, being able to be away from home but still take care of myself, bran muffins, fruit, my first tomato of the season, sleeping in my own bed, clean sheets, a smart phone, soaking in the tub, podcasts, stretching, how you can search your situation on the internet and find stories of how other people have worked with it, going home and being home, being lucky enough to have two homes.

Gratitude Friday (on Thursday)

ourgardenjuly1. Our garden. It started with just two raised beds in the backyard that we filled with mostly tomatoes. The next year added a third bed. Then came the year we had to take down the 45 year old Cottonwood tree that had always shaded our front yard and house, which kept us from keeping anything in front but grass and that giant tree because we knew if we planted things that needed shade they would just have to get taken out when the inevitable loss of the tree came, changing the whole environment. When we lost her, we took the opportunity to turn the lawn into a garden. We took out most of the grass, Eric built three more raised beds, we built a berm along the road and filled it with irises and lilies, I put peonies in where the tree stump had been removed, we built strawberry beds, and we planted squash and zucchini and pumpkins in the spaces between. Right now we are getting lettuce, kale, peppers, basil, and strawberries. Zucchini squash and even a few tomatoes are almost ready to pick, and there are a few tiny cucumbers. Our carrots didn’t sprout and I never did find any rhubarb to put in, but there’s new mint and sunflowers to fill in the cracks.

2. Eric’s hiking pictures. After I say hello and hear about the hike (a few weeks ago, he saw a brand new baby moose and its mama, the other day it was a bear), one of the first things I do is take Eric’s phone, look through the pictures he took, and email myself the ones I like. I like the time home alone and appreciate the tired, happy dogs he brings back, but I also like to see what I missed.

yellowmeadoweric yellowmeadoweric03 ericgreenhikesam ericgreenhikeringo3. My tiny family. I’m feeling a little tender about it right now, as I get ready to be away from them for a whole week. I’m so lucky.

4. Books. As I packed for my trip, I loaded a few new books on my Kindle (MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, and Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch by Brittany Gibbons) and packed a paper copy, just in case (Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala). One of the most consistent, true things about me is how much I love to read.

5. Good food. I made sweet potato and black bean quesadillas for dinner the other night. Eric made a fresh grilled corn and basil frittata last night and he’s making pizza tonight. I ate my first ripe peach of the summer the other day and almost cried. I’m currently obsessed with hummus and sweet potato chips.

Bonus joy: A rainy morning that cleared off so we could walk but had also soaked the garden so we didn’t have to water, the smell of fresh basil, documentaries (some I’ve watched recently: Austin to Boston, What Happened Nina Simone?, Harmontown, Little White Lie), podcasts, healthcare, marriage equity, a president who will burst into song (sound good and look cool doing it), a washer and dryer right in my house that I can use for free any time I want, electricity, clear water, laughter, dog rescues and rescuers, airport shuttles, car rentals, planes that can fly 1200 miles in 1.5 hours, clean sheets, payday, the internet, my kind and gentle readers, my big family.

Three Truths and One Wish

berryharvest1. This summer is going too fast. And it took me so much longer this year to settle in — I was sick, my CSU situation was not working, and I was so depressed. It took some real effort to work with all that, and now that I’m finally sinking into summer, slowing down, savoring it, it’s already almost July!

2. I’m leaving for Oregon on Friday. I always feel such anxiety planning for a trip. I don’t know what to pack, I obsess about what I’ll eat, I’m anxious that I’ll forget something important like a prescription or my bag will get lost or the rental car will break down. I worry about what might happen while I’m gone. I’m not very good at traveling. I’m not very good at leaving the house.

3. I’m working hard at being okay with accomplishing less. I’ve been pushing myself so hard the last few years. That would be okay if I’d been enjoying it more, but instead I can sometimes feel depleted, sad, dissatisfied. As an antidote, I’m lowering the bar and being gentle with myself, continuing with what seems like the work of my life — self-compassion, not smashing myself to bits.

One wish: May we all slow down, sink into this season, and savor it, and may we do so in the company of love.

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: “Soberistas.com, 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.

And,

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.

And,

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.