Tag Archives: Pema Chödrön

Something Good

watermelon

This is in my garden, seriously…

1. What do you do when the trolls come marching in?, wisdom from Paul Jarvis.

2. Behind the scenes of this post from Judy Clement Wall.

3. Finding the courage to transform your life, from Caroline Leon of Life is Limitless.

4. The Imaginary World Of…, Keri Smith’s new book.

5. This post on 3x3x365, especially the part about Burg the wonder dog.

6. He Had No Idea He Was Being Recorded Dancing With His Dog on Viral Nova. I bet Eric does this with the dogs when I’m not around.

7. What do you know for sure?, and The Creativity Conversation Continued, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

8. Lisa Congdon Words for the Day :: No. 35.

9. Wisdom from Marianne Elliott on Facebook, “Your home yoga practice is where you find out what really works for you, and what doesn’t. But, maybe above all else, home yoga is where you begin to rebuild your own trust in yourself, your body and your innate wisdom. And very little is more important, and more powerful than that.”

10. Wisdom from Rilke, (thanks for sharing, Sherry).

Sometimes blocked in,
sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you,
and the next, a star.

11. Good stuff from Be More With Less: Jumping Gently Into Minimalism, and If Life Were Simple, and especially this, How to Really Take a Day Off.

12. Be careful what you wish for… it just may come true!!! on Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy.

13. Love, Curvy Yoga – Episode Ten: An Interview with Susan Piver, Anna Guest-Jelley’s podcast, two of my favorite women talking about some of my favorite things.

14. Less internet – but more of what? from The Art of Simple.

15. What Your Random Jobs Have in Common on Create as Folk.

16. Conversation with Lisa Congdon (Art Inc.) on art & lemons in which Lisa talks about her new book, which I need.

17. 11 vegetarian snacks to help you avoid the vending machine, some yummy recipes.

18. lisa congdon: a studio visit and a brand new book from SF Girl by Bay, because you can never have enough Lisa Congdon.

19. Lower Your Standards from Jennifer Louden. I’m loving this particular series from her, a Queen Jenny Bee wisdom primer.

20. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “If we really knew how unhappy it was making this whole planet that we all try to avoid pain and seek pleasure — how that is making us so miserable and cutting us off from our basic goodness — then we would practice as if our hair were on fire.”

21. Take a Deep Breath from Mara Glatzel.

22. Truthbomb #605 from Danielle LaPorte, “You are the temple.”

23. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: this was a good week (& the philosophy behind it) and respite.

24. Simple Living – Does it Have to be All or Nothing? from Slow Your Home.

25. Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Brownies, a recipe from Kris Carr.

26. regular people answering hard questions: stacy morrison on Angiecat.

26. My embarrassing picture went viral on Salon.

27. Simply Genius: Nick Offerman Reads Reddit’s ‘Shower Thoughts’ on Hello Giggles.

28. Good stuff from Renegade Mothering: I thought age 4 would be better. I was wrong. and We don’t start with needles in our arms. (Watch her read this essay at BlogHer ’14. She said this about the experience,

So I was honored to be chosen as a 2014 “Voice of the Year” by Blogher for the piece “We Don’t Start with Needles in our Arms.” Here I am reading it. Moments before I went on stage, Arlo had a blow out and I thought maybe I had poop on my fancy clothes. As I changed him on the floor backstage I thought “This is some hardcore parenting right here.” Moments after I got off stage, people started coming up to me, telling me about their alcoholic brother mother sister friend student and I thought “What a life, all of this. Thank you.”

29. What’s In A Body Type? from Sunni Chapman.

30. Summer Homes + Anne Black Ceramics on decor8. The summer home made me *swoon*

31. The Lies Your Mind Tells You to Prevent Life Changes on Zen Habits.

32. This, everything about this. A picture that Susannah Conway took of her nephew on a visit to the circus. He’s a magical kid, and the image just screams “be yourself.”

33. A really important quote shared by Austin Kleon, about the difference between humor and depression.

34. What Your Junk Drawer Reveals About You, shared by Tammy on her Happy Links list.

35. Shared on Positively Present Picks: Why doing less actually makes you more successful (and how to do it without hurting your productivity) and 5 Ways to Live in the Moment.

36. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, The Life Changing Crackers, which led to The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread.

37. Wisdom I’ve shared before, but just saw it again and it’s worth resharing,

Six Words of Advice – by Tibetan teacher, Tilopa

Let go of what has passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t try to make anything happen.
Relax, right now, and rest.

translation by Ken McLeod
Quoted in Tara Brach’s guided meditation: Emptiness Dancing

38. More wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “It’s important to hear about this in-between state. Otherwise we think the warrior’s journey is one way or the other; either we’re all caught up or we’re free. The fact is that we spend a long time in the middle.”

39. Navigate Your Life: Sarah Selecky from Jennifer Louden.

40. Mary Lambert has a new album coming out in October!!! The first two songs that have been released are so so so so so good.

41. The Spiritual Art of Saying No from On Being, which ends with,

You say no so you can say yes. It’s sad in the way that all limitations are, but also liberating. You are human and finite and precious and fumbling. This is your one chance to spend your gifts, your attention, most importantly your love, on the things that matter most. Don’t screw it up by being sentimental about what could have been or delusional about your own capacity. Have the grace to acknowledge your own priorities. Prune and survive.

August Moon: The Stories I Tell Myself

blankpagesYesterday, Kat’s prompt asked, “What are the stories that limit you?” and “Who would you be without that story?” This is a theme that keeps coming up for me, the ways in which I am writing my own experience, constructing my own reality, and how sometimes what I’m telling myself just isn’t true.

For example, I used to tell myself I wasn’t a “real” writer. Working in the academy fueled that story, a place where only certain genres are “allowed,” where the first question you are asked when you say you are a writer is “where have you published?” and believe me, there’s a list of the “right” places. I used to think a community like this had to grant me membership before I could live the life of a writer, that I’d experience it according to their rulebook. I’ve since learned that’s not the case. For me, writing is a practice, a full-time gig whether I get paid for it or not, whether or not I get published or read. It is who I am. Writing is like oxygen for me, and as far as I know, no one has ever needed to get permission to breathe.

Another place I used to wait for permission is around yoga, specifically teaching. I thought that yoga teachers needed to be Prana models, no body fat and able to do poses like Scorpion with little effort. I saw them as masters of their bodies, and as a dis-ordered eater who spends way too much time inside her own head, I barely had a connection with mine. I bully it, push it past its limits, don’t give it the rest or movement or care it needs, don’t listen. And yet, instead of starting when I was perfect, waiting to earn the right to be “like them,” I went into yoga teacher training as if I were a total beginner, humble and ready to learn, in worse physical shape than I had been in years, and now, at the end, I’m healthier, saner, and more embodied. I am able to teach exactly because I have struggled, suffered.

I’m encountering the same now with Ringo. The story is that I don’t do enough, don’t know what I’m doing, have “ruined” my dogs, that any bad behavior is a direct result of my action or inaction. I compare myself not to others with full, busy lives who are doing their best, but instead I measure myself against expert, experienced dog trainers.

The common thread throughout these stories is I’m not good enough, need to try harder, do more. How I qualify “good” is to measure myself against longtime, skilled practitioners. Writer? I must be like Margaret Atwood. Yoga teacher? I must be Amy Ippoliti. Dog person? I must be Susan Garrett. To measure myself this way means that no matter how hard I work, no matter what my success, I have still failed, fallen short. The story I tell myself is that I need to earn love, earn the right to be here, earn the right to exist and be happy.

Who would I be without this story? I’d be more rested, healthier, more at ease, calm, more content. I’d be able to celebrate my good work, honor my hunger. My experience would be so much better, even as my productivity dropped.

That’s why compassion, along with courage, are vital: they give us the resources to be genuine about where we are, but at the same time to know that we are always in transition, that the only time is now, and that the future is completely unpredictable and open. ~Pema Chödrön

May we all go more gently, be kinder to ourselves, stop making our lives one project after another. May we truly balance our effort with our ease.

Something Good


1. Yoga, While Exploding in Popularity, is Nearly Dead. A conversation between Waylon Lewis and Amy Ippoliti on Elephant Journal.

2. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Beautiful Tiny Animals Embroidered By Chloe Giordano and Japanese Artist Creates Fun Miniature Dioramas Every Day For 4 Years and 28 Magical Paths Begging To Be Walked.

3. Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt from Momastery. This is so good.

4. Good stuff from Huffington Post: 16 Beautiful Life Lessons From The Pen Of A Children’s Book Illustrator, and Meditation Isn’t Enough: A Buddhist Perspective on Suicide, and Your Body Is Not Your Masterpiece.

5. Vegan Avocado Chocolate Mousse recipe from Food Matters.

6. How & Why To Know Home and Conditions of Enoughness or the Art of Building Your Truer Life from Jennifer Louden.

7. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Sit quietly for a few minutes and become mindful of your breath as it goes in and out. Then contemplate what you do when you’re unhappy or dissatisfied and want to feel better. Even make a list if you want to. Then ask yourself: Does it work? Has it ever worked? Does it soothe the pain? Does it escalate the pain? If you’re really honest, you’ll come up with some pretty interesting observations.

8. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel,

Trust is built by: speaking to yourself kindly, giving yourself the space to move in your own right timing, following through with the promises that you make yourself – starting again whenever you notice yourself breaking your own trust.

Trust is destroyed by: lying to yourself, speaking to yourself in a harsh and cruel manner, putting the needs of others ahead of your own, and forcing yourself to live in a way that is out of sync with your own values.

9. Recipe for Falling in Love, a beautiful poem from Julia on Painted Path.

10. Super Love Tees. *swoon*

11. Some important responses to recent events: Choose Courage from Brene’ Brown, and Seek pinpricks of light by Sherry Richert Belul, and Affected by Karen at Chookooloonks.

12. Creative Living with Jamie: Rachael Maddox.

13. ten books that could deepen how you live and books for deepening how you live, heal, create & love from Gemma Stone.

14. 6 Reasons You Should Stop Obsessing Over Alignment in Yoga Class from Yoganonymous.

15. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Settling for crumbs doesn’t keep you fed – it keeps you starving.”

16. Note from the Universe,

Just look to those who already possess as you wish to possess or who have already achieved as you wish to achieve, Jill, and ask yourself whether or not they have some special gift that you don’t have? If they have more angels than you? If they’re any more loved than you are now loved? If they have suffered more, worked harder, or waited longer than you? If I would permit them to be “luckier” or have it easier than you? And you will see, after careful consideration, that their success depended upon none of these things. It arrived simply because they expected it to arrive, and then lived their lives accordingly.

17. what freedom is (and isn’t) from Tiffany Han.

18. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

It is SO GOOD to do GOOD things, so good! It is so good to make things happen and to help others and to cross things off of our lists and to seek out more of everything that is good.

There is a time to stop and rest, however. Rest is good. Rest is one of the very good things in life to do. Our bodies need rest, our minds need rest, our spirits need rest, our relationships need for us to be rested. Our jobs need for us to be rested. The GOOD GOOD things in the world that we do need a rested BEST of us.

Rest does not need to hold hands with guilt. We do not have to pay for rest when the rest is over. Rest is an investment and makes everything we do better, more valuable and more meaningful. WE MUST REST. Please, dear friend, let yourself rest. Rest physically by going to bed. Rest emotionally by letting go of expectations. Rest spiritually by turning over your worries, problems and anger.

In your quest for all that is good and true, decide TODAY that rest is one of the best and truest of all things. Our bodies were designed to rest. We are being true to who we are when we take the time to truly truly rest. Hear it, sweetheart?

You are so loved. Now get some rest…

19. Shared on Karen’s This Was a Good Week list, Maude White Brave Bird Paperwork. The shadows are almost as amazing as the art.

20. Wisdom from Rumi,

I have been a seeker and I still am,
but I stopped asking the books and the stars.
I started listening to the teachings of my soul.

21. 25 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

22. Things Girls Do That’d Be Creepy If A Guy Did Them from BuzzFeed Video. The final one, “casual wear,” made me laugh, made Eric laugh so hard it bent him over.

23. A Memoir Is Not a Status Update, Dani Shapiro on The New Yorker. I’m not sure I agree.

24. 8 Things I Learned From Being A Contestant On “The Biggest Loser” on MindBodyGreen.

25. Really, Yoga Journal? on Elephant Journal.

26. Art, Inc.: A Field Guide to the Psychology and Practicalities of Becoming a Successful Artist, a piece about Lisa Congdon’s new book on Brain Pickings.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric, American Lakes trail

1. Wisdom from Ishita Gupta, “Every woman in the world knows what she needs in the moment. Whether or not she gives it to herself is the question.”

2. Yoga meets art — create a life you love, on Rebelle Society. I must be tender from my weekend of yoga teacher training because this made me cry. Another good one from Rebelle Society is 13 Awesome Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People, which gives one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read of ME.

3. A Map of the Introvert’s Heart by an Introvert on Medium. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t understand me, this might help.

4. Wisdom from Mary Oliver, because every once in a while I need the reminder,

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

5. Wisdom from Krishna Das,

We constantly limit ourselves with our emotions and our desires and our stories. When we identify with that stuff, we don’t experience what’s underneath it. The only way to move deeper into your own heart is by doing some kind of spiritual practice, regularly, over time. That’s what helps us experience real love and gives us the strength to manifest changes in our lives.

6. Fiercely Being from Jonathan Fields. This one is important. If you don’t click any other link on this week’s list, please follow and read this one. And just in case you are going to ignore my plea, here’s the line where I tear up and put my hand over my heart each time I read it because the beauty and truth are so clear it almost breaks my heart, “What if your metric was…’Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve.‘”

7. You Are Not Late, by Kevin Kelly on Medium, (thanks to Austin Kleon for sharing the link in his newsletter).

8. the lively show: radical sincerity & mental health advocacy with esmé weijun wang, (originally shared by Pugly Pixel).

9. Alone in the Wilderness, a documentary that “tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park…covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness.” We got this from the library a few times and loved it. Someone has now made the full film available on YouTube.

10. Good stuff from Seth Godin: This is ours and The easy ride.

11. Why scales make you binge-eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

12. I love Lisa Congdon’s Words for the Day. These are some of recent my favorites: No. 22, No. 23, and No. 30. And also from Lisa, a beautiful post about marriage, On Marriage :: A Year Later.

13. Good stuff from Jeff Oaks: Habit and Nothing.

14. What Makes You Feel Free? by Saundra Goldman, (link shared by Stephanie).

15. A Bank Uses Its ‘ATMs’ To Say Thanks To Regular Customers In The Most Personalized and Heartfelt Way. Hint: It wasn’t Bank of America.

16. Be Full of Yourself, from Julie Daley.

17. Choose love, and have it be that simple from Sandi Amorim.

18. Rekindle Your Love for Simplicity from Be More With Less.

19. 31 Benefits of Free-Writing from Cynthia Morris.

20. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Only seek to be more of yourself.”

21. Wisdom from “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers),” shared by Sandi Amorim,

This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

22. African cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time.

23. Urban Jewelry: Lace Street Art by NeSpoon shared on This is Colossal.

24. 10 Ways to Recognize Orthorexia on New York Magazine.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, (read the full piece here),

Bodhichitta exists on two levels. First there is unconditional bodhichitta, an immediate experience that is refreshingly free of concept, opinion, and our usual all-caught-upness. It’s something hugely good that we are not able to pin down even slightly, like knowing at gut level that there’s absolutely nothing to lose. Second there is relative bodhichitta, our ability to keep our hearts and minds open to suffering without shutting down.

Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors — not warriors who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic undistorted energy of bodhichitta. We have many examples of master warriors — people like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King — who recognized that the greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds. They devoted their lives to helping others understand this truth. There are also many ordinary people who spend their lives training in opening their hearts and minds in order to help others do the same. Like them, we could learn to relate to ourselves and our world as warriors. We could train in awakening our courage and love.

26. I took this quiz, Which Jung Archetype Best Describes You? and got “The Caregiver.”

Jung identified this archetype in many goddesses and female role models throughout history. You’re the mother figure: the selfless caregiver and helper. Everyone comes to you for advice. You truly love others as yourself and your greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. You manifest compassion and generosity. A Jungian psychologist would tell you to be careful not to be taken advantage of and never let yourself play the martyr.

27. Lacy M. Johnson on The Art of Mourning, on Essay Daily.

28. A young man asks a homeless man to borrow his bucket, what happens next will burst you into tears.

29. I think I fucked this up from The Bloggess.

30. Be Your Own Guru, a Good Life Project Jam Session, another really good thing from Jonathan Fields.

31. Courageous Company with Anna Guest-Jelley: Why Wearing a T-Shirt Might Have Changed My Life.

32. 10 Smarter and Less Stressful Ways to Get Your Daily Work Done on the Positivity Blog.

33. 16 Of The Most Magnificent Trees In The World on Bored Panda.

34. Good stuff from Zen Habits: Inhabit the Moment and How to Master the Art of Living.

35. Doing everything wrong: Shame, truth-telling, and writing it out on Visible and Real. This line especially, “And if I am not Worthy, I move in one of two directions: Complete Shutdown or Overperforming. {Either end of this pendulum is exhausting.}” Word.

36. One of my favorite projects is Humans of New York. Brandon has a new book coming out. He says about it,

Little Humans is coming out in almost two months, and the first hardcopy has just arrived! It is awesome. Your child is guaranteed to giggle, point, and cheer. And if test readings are any indication, there is a 38.53% chance you will cry. It comes out October 7th — very excited about it.

37. Note from the Universe,

The absolute, most sure-fire way of physically moving in the direction of your dreams, Jill, on a day-to-day basis, without messing with the “cursed hows,” is living them, now, to any degree that you can.

38. Really good stuff from Medium: After (one of the best things I’ve ever read about the loss of a pet), and My Cousin is Not a Hero.

39. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

40. Dealing with anger before it deals with you from Paul Jarvis.

41. A Blessing from Ronna Detrick,

When you have questions, look to love. When you have doubts, turn toward love. When you wonder about next steps, let love be the deciding factor. And when you fear how it will all work out, trust in love.

I know it feels fearful to risk (and love) in these ways. I know you long for the certainty that the love you give will offer you the same in return. And I know that without guarantees, without promises, and without thought for your own safety, you will love anyway. It’s who you are. It’s what you do. And it’s the story for which you are known and named.

Speak. Risk. Stand. And love and love and love.

Day of Rest

I am living in an in-between time right now. I can see a new path, a better way, and yet my old habits and ways of being run deep. I end up feeling like two people, like I’m living two lives, having two different experiences simultaneously. One version of me is committed to spiritual practice, to cultivating compassion and wisdom, to easing suffering, and can see the way through. The other version of me is still addicted, disordered, dysfunctional, confused, tired, and when she comes up against an obstacle, wants to give up, sinks down into the deepest despair.

When I woke up in my life, and decided to stay awake, to open my heart, to show up and be present, to allow the world to touch me, I went from being numb to being so incredibly tender, about everything. I feel joy more intensely, but I also feel pain in equal measure.

Hardest to shift is my sense of needing to be in control. I feel responsible for everything, for everyone. I am hypervigilant, always looking for what needs fixed, where I can help. If something goes wrong, I blame myself. I cling to the belief that if I am properly prepared and paying attention, ready, I can keep us all safe and happy. It’s exhausting. Worse yet, it never works, never has.

I’ve been contemplating this need I have for control, how I act on it, am hooked by it even though I know it isn’t possible or true. I’ve been writing about it, discussing it with friends, and talked with my therapist about it. Then someone posted this quote from Pema Chödrön on Facebook.

Photo by Jeff Warshaw

Photo by Jeff Warshaw

Sometimes when I am struggling with something, confused and looking for an answer, the answer just comes, like some kind of magic. After I saw this quote, I sat down to meditate. My practice recently has begun by reading a passage from Pema’s book When Things Fall Apart. Each chapter is only about 3-5 pages long, so it’s easy to read one just before I meditate. I’ve read this book twice already, and this time I’ve been underlining and making notes — making a mess of it.

When I sat down yesterday to read, I thought I was on the chapter about doing no harm, but when I opened the book, I realized I’d already marked up that chapter. I was actually on “Hopelessness and Death.” It was exactly what I needed, at exactly the right moment.

One section in particular had me in tears.

Hopelessness means that we no longer have the spirit for holding our trip together. We may still want to hold our trip together. We long to have some reliable, comfortable ground under our feet, but we’ve tried a thousand ways to hide and a thousand ways to tie up all the loose ends, and the ground just keeps moving under us.

When I talk about wanting to give up, I mean the whole thing. All of it. I want out, want it to be over, think in that moment that I just can’t go on, can’t do it anymore. Pema, in this chapter, talks about a different kind of giving up, another version of surrender. She suggests that hopelessness (“giving up all hope of alternatives to the present moment”) is something to cultivate, the place to start. She ends the chapter with this,

Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself, to make friends with yourself, to not run away from yourself, to return to the bare bones, no matter what’s going on. Fear of death is the background of the whole thing. It’s why we feel restless, why we panic, why there’s anxiety. But if we totally experience hopelessness, giving up all hope of alternatives to the present moment, we can have a joyful relationship with our lives, an honest, direct relationship, one that no longer ignores the reality of impermanence and death.

Today, on this day of rest, I am contemplating hopelessness, and practicing giving up in a whole new way.

Something Good

1. Stand Up For Burg! a gofundme campaign to help one of the best people, Amy McCracken, help her dog, the amazing Cheeseburger, get the surgery he needs to be able to get around, to ease his pain. If you want to read about the beginning of their love story, here’s what Amy wrote about the night they met. The love between a girl and her dog is a beautiful thing, (I should know), and the way that love can heal us is priceless.

burg

The Burg, (picture from the campaign page).

2. Good stuff from Seth Godin: Finding your peer group, and The artist who dances on the edge, and How will you choose your next project?

3. August Break, a 31 day photo challenge hosted by Susannah Conway. I’ve done this the past few years and it’s quite fun.

4. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, on letting go.

What are you willing to let go of today? Life is so much about knowing what to hold on to, and what to let go of — and having faith that it will all work out in the end.

Your heart and your gut know exactly what you need to let go of, even if your brain is giving you all sorts of reasons to clamp your fingers around it. There are seasons and times to have different things, relationships and situations in your life, and then the seasons change and it’s time to let go of many of those things. Change is hard, but change is absolutely necessary.

We’ve all got to let go of old habits, old situations, old behaviors and sometimes even old relationships to make room for what is meant for the next part of our lives. If we just get quiet, get brave, and listen very closely, our hearts will tell us what to let go of. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. It just means that it is what is meant for now.

You can do this. Listen to your heart. Be brave.

5. Memories Do Not Burn from Smashed Picket Fences, (originally shared by Tammy in her Happy Links list).

6. Good stuff on Medium: The power of your writing: why you should write even if you think nobody is reading, and Call me a quitter: Just ask Vince Lombardi, and How a password changed my life, and Why I’m so negative about positivity, and 10 Things No One Tells Women about Turning 40 (thanks for sharing this last one, Lindsey).

7. Maya Stein’s 10-line Tuesday, because of this, and lines like this, “You need more light, not less,” and poems like this:

orientation
Just east of certainty. A little south of courage. A hair’s
width from ease. Clicks away from ready. A turn
or two from acceptance. A shuffle from faith. A set of stairs
from achievement. A riverbed from happiness. A handspan from
peace. A wink away from freedom. A few lines until the poem’s
done. A highway, a night’s sleep, a phone call, a touch, a rotation
of gears away from that certain yes that tells you where you are is
exactly where you need to be. I know, the signs can look as if they’re missing,
and the map so distant and unclear.
But I’m telling you, you aren’t lost. You’re never lost. You’re always here.

8. Mara Glatzel on delight, and more wisdom from yet another of her newsletters, (seriously, why haven’t you signed up for it yet?),

As women, we have a tendency to shrink. As a woman who spent many, many years believing that I had to apologize for my body or my intelligence or my wild spirit, the impulse is still alive and well, living in my muscle memory.

But, so is the restlessness of personal choice and self-responsiblity, of granting myself the permission to be exactly who I am, no matter what the circumstance.

9. A righteous conclusion about easing up on righteousness… from Danielle LaPorte.

10. don’t forget to eat (and knit) and cousin love from SouleMama.

11. Shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend list: Small Buddha Head Planter on Etsy and the oon power outlet.

12. Good stuff from Create as Folk: 23 Things You Didn’t Know About My Career and Create as Folk is Seeking Monthly Contributors.

13. Good stuff (as always) from Courtney Carver (author of Be More with Less): The Answer is Less, and Vulnerability is the Core of our Connection, and How to Create Heart Space (and why it’s a big deal), and The Tiny Guide to Parke Diem.

14. Wisdom from Zen Habits: The Painful Beauty of Impermanence and How to Change Other People.

15. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Recently, in a friend’s kitchen I saw on the wall a quotation from one of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s talks, which said: “Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior can make a proper cup of tea.”

I was struck by it because when I read it I realized that I myself have some kind of preference for stillness. The notion of holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart rang true, but I realized I didn’t do that; at least, I had a definite preference for the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. My reference point was always to be awake and to live fully, to remember the Great Eastern Sun—the quality of being continually awake. But what about holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart at the same time?

The quotation really made an impression on me. It was completely true: if you can live with the sadness of human life (what Rinpoche often called the tender heart or genuine heart of sadness), if you can be willing to feel fully and acknowledge continually your own sadness and the sadness of life, but at the same time not be drowned in it, because you also remember the vision and power of the Great Eastern Sun, you experience balance and completeness, joining heaven and earth, joining vision and practicality.

16. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 20 Habits Happy People Have (But Never Talk About) and 12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans.

17. Good stuff on Chookooloonks: forty-seven and how to live a perfect life in three easy steps, (which might just be one of the most important blog posts of all time).

18. Wisdom from Ann Patchett, “Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”

19. We from Rachel Cole, (also might just be one of the most important blog posts of all time — two on one list!).

20. Vegan Blogger’s Unusual Eating Disorder Shocks Followers.

21. Colbie Caillat – Try. Thank goodness, cause I stop trying a long time ago.

22. Writers at Work, shared by Austin Kleon.

23. Vivid Foods, “joy in a jar.”

24. You Say “Flawed”, He Says “Sexy”: What Men Really Think About Your Body from My Tiny Secrets.

25. Beautiful floral art, shared by The Cool Hunter: Flower Paintings by Thomas Darnell (the peonies! *swoon*) and amazing hanging installations from Rebecca Louise Law.

26. Note from the Universe, “The greatest perk, among countless others, Jill, that comes from loving someone right now, just exactly as they are, instead of waiting for them to change, is that you get to love someone right now.”

27. The truth behind the tweet from Kat McNally.

28. Keep Coming Back on 27 Powers, just one of the 27,000 reasons I will sometimes spontaneously text Laurie to tell her how much I adore her.

29. positive choices: lessons from 4 years of sobriety from Positively Present. And shared on her Positively Present Picks list, An epic guide to developing self-awareness: how to improve your leadership skills by understanding yourself.

30. A recipe for Blueberry Hand Pies, shared in this sweet post by Biscuits and Bobbins.

31. A message about miracles from Brave Girls Club,

Take some time today to see the miracles that have unfolded in your life.

If there was a time when you thought you could not make it ONE more day, and you did — that was an enormous blessing and a grand miracle created just for you.

If there was a time that you thought your heart might just break, and that you would never be the same, but you made it — that was a beautiful miracle of love just for you.

If there was a time you never thought thatyou would reach the goal you had worked so hard for, and you finally did — recognize the miracle inside of that experience.

We never walk alone. Miracles are unfolding every minute of our lives — miracles meant for our joy and for beauty and heart-peace. Take them for what they are meant to be and enjoy your life. Know that the miracles will not stop happening, that you are never alone on your journey.

The miracles are there…reminding you that you are loved.

32. This Human of New York, on Brittnay, Herself, (also a contender for one of the most important blog posts of all time, which if you are keeping score is three in this list!).

33. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving My 185 Pound Body on Huffington Post.

34. Relax, a beautiful poem by by Ellen Bass,

Bad things are going to happen.
Your tomatoes will grow a fungus
and your cat will get run over.
Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream
melting in the car and throw
your blue cashmere sweater in the drier.
Your husband will sleep
with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling
out of her blouse. Or your wife
will remember she’s a lesbian
and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat–
the one you never really liked–will contract a disease
that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth
every four hours. Your parents will die.
No matter how many vitamins you take,
how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys,
your hair and your memory. If your daughter
doesn’t plug her heart
into every live socket she passes,
you’ll come home to find your son has emptied
the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb,
and called the used appliance store for a pick up–drug money.
There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger.
When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs half way down. But there’s also a tiger below.
And two mice–one white, one black–scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.
She looks up, down, at the mice.
Then she eats the strawberry.
So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely.
Oh taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.

35. Kacy Catanzaro at the 2014 Dallas Finals | American Ninja Warrior.

36. Even Cancer Couldn’t Keep Me from WDS: 12 Lessons from the 2014 World Domination Summit from Zen Psychiatry.

37. No wedding, no problem: 4-yr-old turns flower girl dreams into a reality.

38. Wisdom from Susan Piver, one of the wisest, most compassionate humans I know,

There is so much to be sad about in this world. Because it is so uncomfortable, we immediately want to turn sadness into what we imagine will hurt less: anger, hopelessness, helplessness. When the wish to help is rooted in anger, it will only create more confusion. And of course, when we feel hopeless or helpless, we take refuge in non-action, which also creates confusion. When we allow sadness, action arises from love.

Be brave. Be sad.

39. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, “Relentless attempts to be thin take you father away from what could end your suffering: getting back in touch with who you really are.”

40. One last piece of wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts.

Is it time to simplify? Is it time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you, and let the rest go so that . . . you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things . . . instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place?

Your heart knows when it’s time, and you will have the strength to do it. And best of all you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy.

It may not look like the most glamorous life, but it is one filled with joy, peace and harmony . . . one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion . . . one where worries are few and where long meaningful conversations are many . . . one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there.

Simplify today, one little thing at time. You can do it. You are loved.

Something Good


Kind and gentle reader, this will be my last Something Good post until Monday, July 21st, and that first one back might be a little light. We are going on vacation, and while I love curating these lists for you, they are a lot of work, and I’d like to make this trip without my computer, so I’m going to take a bit of a sabbatical. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll be posting at all while I’m away, but Eric will have his computer with him, and I love it here so much that I can’t promise I’ll be able to stay away entirely. I’ll miss it, but I also haven’t taken a real break since I started (my very first post was Beginning, posted on September 16, 2011), and for long stretches, I’ve posted something every day — it might be time to rest a little.

1. 100 Day Promise, a new offering from Sandi Amorim. Would you like to make an important promise to yourself and have the support and guidance to follow it through? Sandi is launching a new project that offers just that. I’ve taken part in her communities before, and I am telling you the truth: there is no better guide than Sandi. Her programs have helped me make significant transformations, and, a disclaimer: I adore her. Here’s a post she wrote about the process of the launch of her new project and new site, Lessons from the Birth Canal. P.S. if you sign up before June 13 you’ll also receive a bonus 1-1 session with Sandi!

2. Light Gets In: Living Well With Mental Illness from Esme Wang.

3. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing and, The 5/5 Creative Challenge from Christina Rosalie. Make sure to keep up with her 5/5 posts. They’ve been beautiful so far. She’s an amazing writer.

4. Just the right words. Just the right time. Three stories to inspire you to SAY them. from Alexandra Franzen.

5. The Mindful Leader: The Wisdom of Mindfulness in the 21st Century Workplace with Michael Carroll, a live event at the Fort Collins Shambhala Center, July 12th. I am so sad I’m going to miss it (we’ll still be in Oregon) because I adore Michael Carroll and think he’s doing some of the most important work of our time.

6. Indie Kindred is available for rent online. Like I told Jen Lee, the filmmaker, I was more excited about this than the new season of Orange is the New Black. So good.

7. Leaf art by Lorenzo Manuel Durán. So delicate, so beautiful, so amazing.

8. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, about having the courage to wait,

When you’re like a keg of dynamite just about to go off, patience means just slowing down at that point—just pausing—instead of immediately acting on your usual, habitual response. You refrain from acting, you stop talking to yourself, and then you connect with the soft spot. But at the same time you are completely and totally honest with yourself about what you are feeling. You’re not suppressing anything; patience has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, it has everything to do with a gentle, honest relationship with yourself. If you wait and don’t fuel the rage with your thoughts, you can be very honest about the fact that you long for revenge; nevertheless you keep interrupting the torturous story line and stay with the underlying vulnerability. That frustration, that uneasiness and vulnerability, is nothing solid. And yet it is painful to experience. Still, just wait and be patient with your anguish and with the discomfort of it. This means relaxing with that restless, hot energy—knowing that it’s the only way to find peace for ourselves or the world.

And this, (thanks for sharing, Erin).

The real thing that we renounce is the tenacious hope that we could be saved from being who we are.

9. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel, in the form of her latest newsletter. If you aren’t signed up yet, you really should.

10. The one simple question that keeps me focused on achieving my dreams from Life is Limitless.

11. A Little Guide to Lighten Your Life and Make Love: mini-mission on Be More With Less.

12. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

There is something wonderful and strange and difficult and painful and amazing about becoming more of who we are. When we stop squeezing our actual soul shape into the shapes of everything else around us just to fit it…and we let ourselves look and feel and BE who we actually are….we feel relieved, but sometimes we also feel profoundly lonely for a while. This is normal, dear girl…and so worth sticking through…

It becomes quite a habit to work so hard at fitting into places where we thought we were supposed to be like everyone else. We work so hard at for so long and sometimes it has been sooooo long that we forgot what we were like before we started doing it. Our soul knows, though.

There comes a day when our soul has just had enough of the squeezing and coloring and carving and polishing we keep trying to do to change it (or hide it!)….and our soul just wants to be authentic and raw and whole and FREE. Our soul wants us to hold hands with it and BE WHO WE ARE. Our soul just wants to be the light that it is…without having to wear a mask or a cape or a shiny veneer of anything at all. It just wants to shine.

Sometimes we feel a bit like a freak when we stop trying to fit in…..don’t let that stop you, dear soul. The more layers we peel off….the brighter we can shine…that stuff is just covering up our light….and the world needs more light. The world needs YOU. YOU need YOU.

You are amazing and unique and wonderful….keep peeling off anything that is covering up all of the you-ness of you. It will be worth it…

13. Someone Put A Camera On A Bird’s Nest… And I’m So Glad Because Watch What It Caught! on Viral Nova.

14. Melissa McCarthy can dress herself on Salon.

“Trying to find stuff that’s still fashion-forward in my size is damn near impossible,” she told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011. “It’s either for like a 98-year-old woman or a 14-year-old hooker, and there is nothing in the middle.”

Amen.

15. Amazing Resonance Experiment! This totally freaks me out, in the best kind of way. Thanks for sharing it, Susan Piver.

16. The Frustratingly Slow Pace of Making Changes from Zen Habits.

17. The American Dream Is Alive—and It’s Really, Really Tiny. I love what Tammy (the author of Rowdy Kittens and You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap)) has to say about making conscious choices.

18. Sometimes you need a creativity reboot from Susannah Conway.

19. 23 Photos Of People From All Over The World Next To How Much Food They Eat Per Day, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list.

20. Jen Lee on Being Seen and Finding Kindreds.

21. Practice is an invitation to the future from Sandi Amorim. She gets it.

Have a wonderful start of the summer, kind and gentle reader!