Tag Archives: Alex Franzen

Something Good

First, I have to share my good news, a big announcement: I am a teaching assistant in the current session of Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen’s Mondo Beyondo ecourse!!! What the what?! Oh yeah, me. It is every kind of awesome and I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

teachingassistantbio

Yep, that’s me, my class bio…holy wow.

As a special gift to you, kind and gentle reader, Andrea is offering a $20 off coupon for A Thousand Shades of Gray readers, just enter the code “newdreams20″ when you register. I’d love to see you there, and can’t say enough good things about the class. I was thinking about it yesterday, and realized that it is the place it all started for me: my session of Mondo Beyondo started on 9/12/11 and I published my first blog post 9/16/11.

P.S. This is zero week for the course, but there’s still time and room to register.

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled list of goodness:

cafeardourbirdcage

1. Downton Abbey, Season Three, Episode One. You can watch it online at PBS.org, (guess what I’ll be doing later?)

2. Danielle LaPorte TruthBomb: You are the answer to your own question.

3. Also from Danielle Laporte, What’s Holding You Back? and Curatives for judgement. (Please read before you interact with other humans.) And this morning on Facebook, she shared this:

Wisdom from Anita Moorjani: Many of us who have spent years trying to work on improving ourselves often end up being our own worst critics. We judge ourselves harshly if we feel fear or a sense of loss or depression. We feel that “with everything we have read and learned, we should know better by now” and feel as though we have gone backwards in our learning, and can’t figure out where we went wrong. It leaves us wondering what we have missed, or what we have yet to learn to get out of this space. This feeling keeps us in constant search for more information. This is a fallout of the “self-help movement”.

If this is you, I’d like to say that first of all, don’t judge yourself for feeling the way you are feeling. Embrace yourself and who you are and where you are at, right now. Remember, you are the sum total of every moment of your life up to this point in time. Embrace it. Accept it. And when we are able to fully embrace and accept it, including accepting the fear, depression, or sadness we are feeling, it is usually followed by a feeling of relief. There is nothing we need to do. Embrace where you are. If you are still feeling heavy with what you are left with even after accepting it, then surrender who you are to the universe. Realize that there is no “new information” or “understanding” out there that you need to pursue. Just surrender. Empty yourself to the universe, or to the god of your understanding, or whatever, and say “here, take me. This is me now. This is who and how I am right now.” And then there should be this deep feeling of relief.

4. It Doesn’t Matter Why. Resolving to Change Your Eating Before the New Year. from Drop It and Eat.

5. In an interview in The Sun Magazine, Parker J. Palmer says: “When individuals don’t know what to do with their suffering, they do violence to others or themselves — through substance abuse and extreme overwork, for example.”

6. 50 Most WTF Animal Pics Of The Year from BuzzFeed, “Animals are Weird. Real Weird.”

7. There was a Time, from Jennifer Louden.

8. Should Buddhist Meditation Make You Happy? by Robert Wright from The Atlantic.

9. Note from the Universe:

In all things, Jill, always and forever, simply wish the best for all
involved, without stating what you think that is. And then, whatever does happen, no matter what happens, know that it was.

10. Your Daily Rock: Simple Wisdom on Patti Digh’s 37 Days.

11. Begin from Life After Tampons.

12. The Sacred Quiet from Jen Lee.

13. It’s 2013 and Time to LEAP!! from Kute Blackson.

14. Little Things Add Up from Slow Love Life, (by way of Lindsey Mead of A Design So Vast and her More Things I Love Lately list). Lindsey also shared an amazing quote in her post All There Will Ever Be.

15. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, the book trailer:

16. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday:

Your life, with its immensity and fear
…now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.
~from Evening, by Rainer Maria Rilke

17. Recipes I want to try (the first two were shared by Patti Digh):

18. The Creativity Interviews: Writer-teacher-entrepreneur Alexandra Franzen on Judy Clement Wall’s website. Two of my favorite women talking about one of my favorite things.

19. This quote from Charlotte Joko Beck:

Every moment in life is absolutely itself. That’s all we have. There is nothing other than this present moment; there is no past, there is no future; there is nothing but this. So when we don’t pay attention to every little this, we miss the whole thing.

And the contents of this can be anything. This can be straightening our sitting mats, chopping an onion, talking to one we don’t want to talk to. It doesn’t matter what the contents of the moment are; each moment is absolute. That’s all there is, and all there ever will be.

20. An igloo made out of colored ice blocks.

21. Out On a Limb by Seth Godin, in which he says, “It turns out that I don’t just write for you. I also write to remind myself of what I’m hoping to become as well.”

22. This quote from Tara Brach: “You can’t wake up the heart if you’re not in your body.”

23. One Little Word 2013 | The Words from Ali Edwards.

Something Good

Buddha Quote
1. This from Oriah Mountain Dreamer:

Considering Old Habits With New Eyes: It always amazes me how quickly we develop habitual routines. In some ways, it makes sense. Day to day life is filled with a plethora of executive decisions: what to eat; what to wear; what to read, listen to, or watch; how to spend our time, money and energy, prioritizing tasks at work or at home. Routines can free us up to focus on bigger or deeper questions. And, once we’ve found something that works for us- whether it’s a daily meditation or nap (and I admit one sometimes leads to the other)- a routine helps us establish and maintain these practices.

Of course, the strength of routines is also a weakness: habits aren’t decided from present-moment awareness. This of course, side-steps the but-I-don’t-feel-like. . .(exercising, writing, meditating, eating vegetables etc.) pitfall of resisting what we know generally supports our body, mind, and spirit. But it also side-steps considerations of how things may have changed and what our or others’ present-moment needs really are. And, of course, the ease of perpetuating habits is as true of those that are not good for us as they are for those that are beneficial.

2. New Trampled Snow Art from Simon Beck. I love impermanent art.

3. A Buddhist Practice for Your New Year Resolution on Huffington Post from Lodro Rinzler.

4. How To Make Next Year Your Best Year Yet, a vision board practice from Liv Lane. I’ve been collecting images, will hopefully find a moment to put mine together tomorrow.

5. Birthing Your Art: Becoming a Creativity Doula and New spin on an old favorite; New Day’s resolution on Scoutie Girl.

6. A Danielle LaPorte TruthBombs: “We all require heaping doses of tenderness whether we realize it or not,” and “Leave room for mystery. It doesn’t all need to make sense.”

Lee Martinez Park

7. Anxiety and Depression Together on Psychology Today makes some really good arguments about the conditions (or condition, as the argument goes), ones that make real sense to me, as someone who has dealt with both, (it does however gloss over the fact that there can also be chemical, body issues involved as well). These two parts especially made sense to me:

“Depression seems to be a shutdown,” explains Barlow. “Anxiety is a kind of looking to the future, seeing dangerous things that might happen in the next hour, day or weeks. Depression is all that with the addition of ‘I really don’t think I’m going to be able to cope with this, maybe I’ll just give up.’ It’s shutdown marked by mental, cognitive or behavioral slowing.”

And this,

“The shared cornerstone of anxiety and depression is the perceptual process of overestimating the risk in a situation and underestimating personal resources for coping.” Those vulnerable see lots of risk in everyday things-applying for a job, asking for a favor, asking for a date.

Further, anxiety and depression share an avoidant coping style. Sufferers avoid what they fear instead of developing the skills to handle the kinds of situations that make them uncomfortable.

8. Stand out: Meet Kerilyn Russo and see the power of stepping into your true role. Kerilyn has joined the Roots of She tribe, and it’s her birthday today. She is a gift, and I predict she is going to do such good things this year. Keep an eye on her.

9. Five Minutes for Simplicity from Courtney Carver on Be More With Less. Let’s be honest, we’ve all got five minutes.

10. A Mala of Mindfulness (108 insights from 2012) from Sandi Amorim at Deva Coaching. So much wisdom here, the kind of list you’ll want to print out and post on your fridge. Also on Deva Coaching, a guest post by Sandra Pawula, Meditate Right Now.

11. Meditation, Creativity & Fearlessness, a podcast of one of my favorite teachers (Susan Piver) speaking at the New York City Shambhala Center.

Lee Martinez Park Snow
12. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday list this past week, 6 Simple Rituals To Reach Your Potential Every Day.

13. 8 Things You Must Give Up to Find Peace from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

14. Becoming Friends With Yourself: You Deserve Your Love on Tiny Buddha.

15. 101 Creative Resolutions (shared originally on Positively Present Picks).

16. This quote from Sas Petherick, which sums up my “new deal” very nicely: “These days I find it much more appealing to consider how I want to feel and who I want to be, rather than what I want to do.”

17. My word for 2013 is Freedom. In talking about it the other day with someone who selected Free, I was joking that we should have a theme song. That made me start with the first one that came to mind, Freebird, and I found this lovely cover.

18. John Cleese on the 5 Factors to Make Your Life More Creative on Brain Pickings. They are “space, time, time, confidence, and humor.” I couldn’t agree more.

19. OMG, it’s a hobbit house! I want it…

20. Sunday Sounds from Patti Digh.

21. 10 Really Lame Ideas & Beliefs To Let Go Of from Danielle LaPorte.

22. Some really good things are happening in January:

23. WTF Interview with Judd Apatow. This is actually old, but heard it just this morning and LOVED it.

24. This:

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
but don’t move the way fear makes you move.

Walk to the well.
Turn as the earth and the moon turn,
circling what they love.
Whatever circles comes from the center.
~Rumi

25. The WORLD OF POSSIBILITY Card. (Copy, paste & send to someone you love.) from Alexandra Franzen.

26. “Creating a beautiful life is your highest calling. It is in the ordinary and overlooked details of the everyday that beauty is revealed, sustained, and nurtured.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

27. “The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen

28. From Dudjom Rinpoche, Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom Rinpoche’s Heart Advice:

At all times, do not lose courage in your inner awareness; uplift yourself, while assuming a humble position in your outer demeanor. Follow the example of the life and complete liberation of previous accomplished masters (siddha). Do not blame your past karma; instead, be someone who purely and flawlessly practices the Dharma. Do not blame temporary negative circumstances; instead, be someone who remains steadfast in the face of whatever circumstances may arise.

In brief, taking your own mind as witness, make your life and practice one, and at the time of death, with no thought of anything left undone, do not be ashamed of yourself. This itself is the pith instruction of all practices.

29. What Are You Doing New Years Eve? by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Happiest of New Years to you, kind and gentle reader. I am so grateful that you are here, and wish you all the best.

Something Good

1. Conceptual art by Rune Guneriussen.

2. Future Me, write an email to your future self.

3. Why You Absolutely, Positively Have to Share Your Gifts from Ken on Paper. His story sounds so much like mine.

4. Big news. Two books. And … the future. Love Alex Franzen’s new site design, and can’t wait for a book from her. She’s wicked smart.

5. From Courtney Carver at Be More With Less:  5 Steps to Eliminate Clutter and Your Vote Doesn’t Count. Seriously badass, there’s just no other way to describe her.

6. 15 Things I’m Happier Without by Miss Minimalist.

7. Maybe the most beautiful blog: 3x3x365 It will make you laugh, it will make you cry.

8. You know you are a design nerd when this excites you: Subtle Patterns. Tilable textured patterns, free to use.

9. Nebraska third grader dresses ‘in character’ every day for school. I pray that life doesn’t ruin this girl, because she’s amazing.

10. Two important messages from my Inner Pilot Light:

In a Doing culture, it’s easy to forget the value of Being. But your soul is not here on this earth to DO anything. It’s here to BE something. When you’re so busy Doing, sometimes you forget to just BE. So please – do me a favor – take some time. Get quiet. Retreat. Pull back. Do less. BE more.

And,

Oh honey. Why the punching bag? Why must you beat yourself up so
fiercely when all I see is this precious being I only want to hug? If only you could see what I see, you would realize that, when you let your Gremlins go bananas in your mind, you hurt not just yourself but everyone you love. Instead, let me give you a heaping helping of just what the doctor ordered. (((((((((((((((((Jill Salahub))))))))))))))))))) Love is all you need.

11. 30 Simple Ways to Simplify Your Life from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

12. Five Tactics Bloggers Can Steal from Fiction Writers from Cynthia Morris at Original Impulse.

13. How To Reduce Fear & Anxiety About Disease & Death – Part 4 from Lissa Rankin.

14. One cool way to figure out what your badass life is about from creative badass Justine Musk.

15. 99 Life Hacks to make your life easier! Give yourself some time to look at these. They will make you laugh, and I guarantee you’ll want to try some of them.

16. How I Followed My Passion and Escaped the 9 to 5 by Dani Dipirro of Positively Present, one of my favorite blogs. I want to go to there…

17. The Science of Dogs from Doghouse Diaries. This made me laugh out loud.

18. The emergency compliment. This could come in handy. The one I just got was “Your sneezes sound like angels giggling.” Why, thank you.

Something Good

bunny cloud over lory state park, and yes, it’s real.

1. Epic and Ordinary on Doorways Traveler. So beautiful, her raw voice and open heart.

2. A Thousand Mornings with Poet Mary Oliver on NPR. Oh how I love her. I immediately teared up hearing her read her work.

3. From Fiona of Writing Our Way Home:

In this life, with its impermanence and unpredictability and difficult-things-happening, we need all the help we can get. We need to develop habits that steady us, that provide us with nourishment, that remind us of the beauty around us even in the midst of chaos & loss.

And she also shared this:

Since my house burned down
I now own a better view
of the rising moon.
~ Mizuta Masahide, poet and samurai (1657-1723)

4. From Alex Franzen of Unicorns for Socialism: “If I were you, I’d jot down a series of stories I’ve been aching to tell. True stories that happened to me. Nobody else.”

5. A three step practice from Pema Chödrön:

First, come into the present. Flash on what’s happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest if you find that helpful. This is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment, a way of saying, “This is my experience right now, and it’s okay.”

Then go into the next moment without any agenda.

This practice can open us to others at times when we tend to close down. It gives us a way to be awake rather than asleep, a way to look outward rather than withdraw.

6. Half Eaten from Rachel Cole. She’s on fire right now, creating some really juicy stuff. I am so grateful for her honestly in this particular post. I have been in the moment she describes, and to have her share it is medicine to me.

7. Talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama entitled “Human Compassion” given at the College of William & Mary’s Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, on October 10, 2012.

Dalai Lama for president!

8. This video broke my heart, but also filled me up with the love, the beauty that is possible in life. Amy McCracken (who has the biggest heart) shared it in a post on a blog she cowrites, 3x3x365.

9. For Those in the Darkness on Create as Folk.

10. Book Offers Guidance to the Gentle Art of Compassionate Euthanasia, an article about Dr. Cooney of Home to Heaven and her work. Dr. Cooney helped us to let our Obi go, and if we are “lucky” she or one of her kind colleagues will help us let Dexter go. I am so grateful to have such compassionate care so close. It brings me so much comfort.

11. Just One Thing from Susannah Conway. P.S. I am loving her blog redesign.

12. Impermanent art: Motoi Yamamoto’s “Return to the Sea: Saltworks.”

13. 2012, Y2K, and Other Scary End Is Near Predictions.

My advice: rather than worry about some “doomsday prophecy”, why not live your life today like it matters? Why not be present in the NOW? Instead of flipping out over the possibility of dying in some fiery comet (or other fantastical ending) why not just LIVE WELL? And rather than waiting for some random date on a calendar to become enlightened, why not strive to be a better person TODAY?

14. Justine Musk shared a quote from Robert McKee: “A story is the expression of how + why life changes. A story begins with balance, then something throws life out of balance, then a story goes on to describe how balance is restored.”

15.This quote from Tara Brach:

We’ve all felt the power of someone’s care to melt our armor. When we feel upset, often not until someone cares enough to listen or give us a hug are we able to melt down and cry. When someone says to us, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, “Darling, I care about your suffering,” a deep healing begins.

16. Why the pursuit of your dream is your sacred obligation by Justine Musk, in which she says:

Your gift might not cure cancer, but somewhere, in some way, it eases a pain, or solves a problem, or brings light to darkness, or cracks open a false self, or exposes a lie, or generates hope.

17. I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: calm.com

baby chicken cloud over lory state park: yes, it’s real too.

18. Self-Compassion: Learning to Be Nicer to Ourselves on Tiny Buddha.

19. Quote from the Dalai Lama:

Because it is a reality that we are by nature social animals, bound to depend on each other, we need to cultivate affection and concern for other people if we really desire peace and happiness. Look at wild animals and birds. Even they travel together, flock together, and help
each other. Bees do not have a particular legal system, they do not follow any spiritual practice, but for their livelihood and survival they depend on each other—that is their natural way of existence. Even
though we intelligent human beings must also depend on each other, we sometimes misuse our intelligence and try to exploit each other. That goes against human nature. For those of us who profess to believe in a particular religious practice, it is extremely important that we try to help each other and cultivate a feeling of affection for each other. That is the source of happiness in our life.

20. On the leaving on Carry It Forward. I’m so grateful to author Christa Gallopoulos for this, such a beautiful post.

21. So You Want To Be a Writer: Bukowski Debunks the “Tortured Genius”
Myth of Creativity
on Brain Pickings.

22. My Inner Delete Button – 7 Things I’m Trashing from My Life on Ken and Paper.

23. Real Life Minimalists: Courtney Carver. The story behind her badassery.

24. Three minutes towards helping you feel better on Writing Our Way Home. My response to this post, this practice this morning was: Looking out my window into the dark all I can see is the reflection of my own face.

25. What is freedom from Chris Guillebeau.

26. This quote from Cheri Huber: “Perhaps doing in order to be good is what keeps you from realizing that you are already good.”

27. Another quote from the Dalai Lama: “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

28. Everything Is Going To Be OK: Aesthetic Anesthesia for the Soul on Brain Pickings.

humpback whale cloud over salyer natural area.

29. Book Shelf Porn. Yes, please.

30. The power of unconditional acceptance from Kris Carr.

P.S. There are three other lists, similar to my Something Good post, where I get weekly inspiration. Usually a few items from these lists make it onto mine. They are:

Something Good


1. This quote from Pema Chödrön’s new book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change:

It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human.

2. Two posts from Lissa Rankin: Stop Striving. You Are Already Enough. and 6 Life Lessons I Learned from Blogging.

3. This heartbreaking video. This was going around on Facebook last week, and I finally watched it. This is the real shit. If you’ve ever loved someone and lost them (especially if it was to cancer), and had to keep living after, you will feel this man’s pain, and at the same time be reminded we are not alone.

4. The impossible choice by Sunni Chapman on Roots of She. With everything that’s been going on with my Dexter, this post was pure medicine for me. Especially this,

Oh Life, you are so kind. Even if you had taken him from me, you are still so kind. Because you gave me the love of this dear sweet being, for as long as he wants to be with me, and for a million other reasons, as well. Thank you Life, for this gift of seeing, and thank you Life, for this greatest gift of LOVE.

Thank you, Sunni.

5. The Burning House: What People Would Take if the House Was on Fire on Brain Pickings. I thought so much about this with the fires here this summer, love seeing what people would take, what is precious to them.

6. The Renegade Craft Fair in London on decor8. I would have spent so much money at this. And p.s., I love Holly’s latest blog design, especially the new header and link buttons.

7. 8 life lessons, gracefully learned – advice for my younger self on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Living Into My Words from Erica Staab. And not just because she quoted me, but because of things like this,

How often do we assume that we are the only ones struggling with something, to wrestle alone with our thoughts, fears and doubts only to hear when we finally gain the courage and bravery to share…“Me too.”

9. Famous Writer’s Small Writing Sheds and Off-The-Grid Huts. I felt physical pain looking at these, a tension and nausea in my body because my desire was so intense. I love these, want one someday.

10. Charles Bukowski, Arthur C. Clarke, Annie Dillard, John Cage, and Others on the Meaning of Life from Brain Pickings. So many great quotes here.

11. My Creative Life: Tammy Strobel, an interview with Susannah Conway. I am reading Tammy’s new book right now, so especially loved hearing her talk about her life as a writer. Susannah also shared a few links in her Something for the Weekend post (where I get at least one thing for this list each week) to people living in tiny spaces (Tammy lives in a tiny house) which are making me, once again, want to purge, downsize, declutter, and simplify.

Susannah also shared a link this week to this gorgeous video, The Most Beautiful Lies sung by Clare Bowditch and a few other lovelies.

And while we are talking about the brilliant Susannah Conway, here’s an interview with her on Sassyology.

12. 22 playful + productive + passion-stoking things to do, this September from Alex Franzen on Unicorns for Socialism.

13. The Only Way to Respond to Life, a sweet post by Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. “This moment is a ridiculously generous miracle.”

14. My dog: the paradox on The Oatmeal. Too funny, slightly naughty, and so true.

15. 5 Important Reasons to Slow Down Today on Pick the Brain.

16. 9 Ways to Get a New Venture Cracking from Jennifer Louden.

17. This poem from Rumi.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

18. This quote from the Dalai Lama.

Hardship, in forcing us to exercise greater patience and forbearance in daily life, actually makes us stronger and more robust. From the daily experience of hardship comes a greater capacity to accept difficulties without losing our sense of inner calm. Of course, I do not advocate seeking out hardship as a way of life, but merely wish to suggest that, if you relate to it constructively, it can bring greater inner strength and fortitude.

19. Humans of New York.

20. Our dreams don’t belong to us. They belong to the world. from Kelly Rae Roberts.

Something Good

1. Pema Chödrön’s new book. Seriously, with this and Daring Greatly and Cultivating Courage, you’d think the Universe was totally on my side, sending me the very resources I need at exactly the right time.

2. Andrea Scher’s new website, Superhero Life. If you haven’t taken a look yet, you totally should. Her tagline is “no capes, just courage.” It’s beautiful and she has so much to offer, creative magic and other good stuff. It has my head spinning with ideas and my heart pounding with love. Her Creative Superhero interview series is soooo good. Here’s one with Rachel Cole. You know I love that well-fed woman.

3. 8 Ways You’re Wasting Your Life from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

4. This quote from John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” Giddy up!

5. From Brave Girls Club, Daily Truth email, (I really needed to hear this one this week):

Dear Amazing Girl,

You have done such wonderful things, you really have. You have made differences that you don’t even know about, and you have touched lives that you have forgotten about, but that will never be forgotten by the lives you have touched. You have inspired others that you didn’t even know were watching and you have taught lessons to others that you didn’t even know you were teaching.

Please be kind to yourself, dear friend. Please take this day to see what is right about you instead of being distracted by what you think is wrong with you. Please thank your body for carrying you through your life, and thank your soul for making everything so meaningful. Please see yourself, even if just for a moment, in the absolutely cherished way that you are seen by those who love you, and especially by the One who created you.

You are far too hard on yourself. It’s time to treat yourself with the kindness that you deserve. You are just right, you are beautiful. You are capable and you are strong. Your life matters and YOU matter.

Please believe it. You are so loved.
xoxo

And, more wisdom from the same source:

Life is as crazy and harried as we allow it to be. When we want to make things special for those we love, we need to remember that what they want most is US. They want time with us. They want us to feel good and to be in a good mood and to be present. They want happy memories that include us. Sometimes this means that we must simplify so that we do not fall apart. Some times this means we need to let go of our idea of perfection and just show up AS IS.

6. What gives YOU the authority? from Alex Franzen on Unicorns for Socialism.

7. A good reason to meditate. In fact, the best reason.

Meditation practice takes place on a personal level. It involves an intimate relationship with ourselves. Great intimacy is involved. It has nothing to do with achieving perfection, achieving some absolute state or other. It is purely getting into what we are, really examining our actual psychological process without being ashamed of it. It is just friendship with ourselves. ~Chögyam Trungpa

And this quote, also from Chögyam Trungpa:

We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can’t do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it.

8. Feel Your Pain: mini-mission from Courtney Carver at Be More With Less. Again, the Universe seems to be sending me the very things I need to read right now.

Food, pills, shopping, or your drug of choice will not heal your brokenness. You might look put together. You may even feel better, but your pain will continue to do damage. Your pain will be evident in the way you treat yourself and others, and in how you let people treat you.

9. How To Start Your Life All Over Again – Especially After Loss Or Death from Tia Sparkles on Your Life Your Way.

10. Jennifer Louden interviews Brene’ Brown about Daring Greatly.

11. This quote from Brene’ Brown: “Courage has a ripple effect. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better & the world a little braver.”

12. More (super) power to ya! by Sherry Richert Belul on Cherry Blossom Soup. I loved this so much, so appreciate Sherry’s writing, and especially adore this line, “Laurie grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes, and said: ‘I want you to know that this is who you are. You are the girl who can scrape the fallen pie off the ground and turn it into something delightful.’ “

13. Brene’ Brown went on the Katie Couric show to talk about her new book. She’s so real and funny, like the best, smartest, kindest girlfriend you ever had. I could listen to her talk and tell stories for hours (and have!).

14. This is about the tattoo from Hannah Marcotti, the best tattoo story…ever.

15. Super cute dog portraits by Jessica Trinh. I dare you to look at her Flickr stream and not get a serious case of the warm and fuzzies.

16. This quote, from Geneen Roth: When we don’t allow ourselves to have what we already have, to be who we actually are, to taste what’s in our mouths, we walk around with anorexia of the soul. Always deprived, always starving for more, never able to get enough.

17. Facing the Fear of Death and Really Living Now on Tiny Buddha.

18. This quote from Cheri Huber: What we’re seeing here is how the layers of self-hate keep us from experiencing our intrinsic, inherent enlightenment. It’s simply a matter of realizing what already is. It’s not necessary for us to DO anything. What we’re seeking is available to us when we stop DOING everything else.

19. A Writer’s Manifesto from Raam Dev.

20. Nervous Christopher Maloney sings “The Rose” on XFactor.This is why things like Andrea Scher’s Cultivating Courage class and Brene’ Brown’s Daring Greatly book are so important, why the work that those women and so many others are doing, the encouragement they are giving people is so important, because without it, these sorts of voices are kept forever silent.

21. Sleepwalk with Me trailer. I really, really want to see this movie.

22. Susan Piver telling a story about the blues (as in the music), ecstasy (as in the drug), and the Buddhadharma at How I Learned It’s Complicated.

23. This quote, from Mark Nepo: How easy it is to be cruel when afraid, and how difficult it is to accept that we are all capable of terrible things, and how cleansing it is to realize that true kindness breathes just beneath this acceptance.

Something Good

no matter what the weather, the sky is always blue

1. More by Erica Staab, one of my favorite bloggers. Probably because she says things like this “One of the gifts of grief (be it from a death, a loss of a dream, a loss of the life you thought you wanted etc.) is that when your heart is broken open it naturally creates more space for love if you let it.”

2. The Daily Post at WordPress.com. This seems like a good site to keep in your back pocket if you are a blogger who ever feels stuck about what to write. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll also see a list of daily writing prompts, or check out the “Inspiration” section.

3. John F. Ptak Relief Fund. Read Patti’s post, “Community is a Verb,” or visit the Team Brilliant Facebook page. If I or anyone I love finds themselves in this situation, I can only hope to be helped by so many kind, generous people, which is the best reason to help: at some point, we are all going to need it, so it’s good to give it when we can.

4. What the world needs from you by Marianne Elliot. Such a good list.

5. This quote: It doesn’t have to be pretty or smart, just honest and true. ~Mark Nepo

6. This quote: Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what
dies inside us while we live. ~Norman Cousins

7. We think we move through the world unseen, a heartbreakingly beautiful post by Andrea Scher. Have I told you lately how much I adore her?

8. You just call out my name on A Human Thing by Judy Clement Wall, another writer, woman, badass that I completely adore. This post is good for all kinds of reasons, but specifically because she says something I’d been trying to verbalize, in reference to the loss of the amazing writer David Rakoff,

Critics, when they review Rakoff’s essay collections, often focus on his pessimism and his razor sharp, sarcastic wit, but underneath that
is the thing that drew me to his work: a defiant sort of sweetness, an underlying hope.

9. Because he was so sweet, his loss so sad, and because you may not know who he is and need to see for yourself, and because cancer sucks, takes from us the most beautiful of things:

When I watched this video, knowing that he was gone, the dance at the end broke my heart, but at the same time was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.

10. Two more things about David Rakoff: Our Friend David Rakoff by Ira Glass and On Already Missing The Angry, Passionate Writing Of David Rakoff.

11. 50 amazing gifts from living in the now and Overcoming perfectionism in a culture that promotes it on Tiny Buddha.

12. This quote: Perfectionism is a form of self-aggression. ~Me

13. This online radio station: Lush on SomaFM.

14. 50 People, One Question. What’s your secret?

15. Uncharted Waters on Sas’ Magical Mystery Tour. I loved this post, and I want to go to there. She makes me believe it’s possible.

16. My message from The Daily Flame, which just so happened to be the exact thing I needed to hear.

Dearest Jill Salahub,
It’s all okay.
I promise.
It may not look the way you anticipated it would look, but I swear to
you, it’s all going right according to plan. Soon you will see the method to The Universe’s madness.
You will find the gifts in the uncertainty and disappointment. You will understand why it’s taking so long to get where you’re trying to get.
Be patient, love. All this – and more – is coming your way.
Speaking the truth,
Your Inner Pilot Light

17. Confessions of a control freak (dentists and book launches) on Writing Our Way Home, another message I needed to hear, especially this part:

For me, faith doesn’t mean an assurance that all will be well. Things often don’t go well. Instead it means being able to relax back into the dentist’s chair, and trusting that whatever happens, whatever discomfort I’m in, it will pass.

And a deeper holding, too. Something harder to put into words. Something about it being okay even when it’s not okay.

It will pass, and I’ll find myself on the other side.

18. Write Yourself Into Motion with Alex Franzen at 27 Powers. This would be, will be, so awesome.

19. Mamahood + Business: Dr. Brene Brown, an interview with Kelly Rae Roberts. My favorite is when Brene’ says this, “A long time ago someone told me that a good marriage is not 50-50. A good marriage is having a partner who’s willing to show up with 80% when you only have 20% and who can count on you to do the same.” Poor Eric has had to be 95% in the past few days, so I know this is true. I also love Brene’s list of what she wants for her kids–I want that for myself!

20. Linus, the sweetest accidental adoption story.

21. Posie Gets Cozy. The pictures on this blog are dreamy.

22. This quote: Wherever we are there are voices saying: “Go here, go there, buy this, buy that, get to know him, get to know her, don’t miss this, don’t miss that,” and so on and on. These voices keep pulling us away from that soft gentle voice that speaks in the center of our being: “You are my beloved, on you my favor rests.” Prayer is the discipline of listening to that voice of love. ~Henri Nouwen

23. This quote: When we drop the idea that we’re supposed to be having a certain kind of experience and open ourselves to the experience we are having, then we avoid nothing, and we fear nothing, because we are right here with ourselves. ~Cheri Huber

24. Liv Lane’s favorite blogs. We like a lot of the same things, so I imagine I will get lost for a while in these lists.