Monthly Archives: July 2013

Something Good

1. This description of a good writer, from Isaac Asimov, “You are my idea of a good writer because you have an unmannered style, and when I read what you write, I hear you talking.”

2. Something you may need to hear today from Kat McNally.

3. To Succeed, Forget Self-Esteem, a post about self-compassion on, of all places, Harvard Business Review (?!)

4. On being copied from Andrea Schroeder, in which she says “people aren’t buying your product or service on its own – they’re buying your product or service animated by your creative essence.”

5. 36 Things You Will Naturally Understand If You’re From Colorado on BuzzFeed. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with all of these, and don’t get the childhood references since I didn’t grow up here, but it’s pretty funny.

6. Brave Love, “A love-based case for the what’s right in the world, curated by Brit Hanson.”

7. 30 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Die.

8. Sacred Love: 12 Things at the Bottom of Everything** from Rachel Maddox. P.S. There’s still time to donate to her Traveling Soul Circus project.

9. The Five Buddha Families and 10 Reasons why Buddhism is Better than your Religion on Elephant Journal.

10. Erica Staab shares a beautiful poem, Clearing by Martha Postlewaite.

11. From Brave Girls Club,

Beautiful, true, important things almost always take a long time to come to fruition. There are often very long stretches that are tedious, thankless, difficult and hard to measure. We get tired and that makes us weak and vulnerable to things that hurt our feelings or make us want to stop trying. There are often points in the journey when we feel absolutely alone, misunderstood and even cast out. There are sometimes points in our journey when we just want to be alone…and that is hard to explain to people we love. Making progress is not easy, is it?

With all of that in mind, however…think even more seriously about how miserable it is to stay stagnant. Think of how awful it feels to know in our hearts that we are meant for something, but to continue to ignore it, run away from it….or stay stuck just looking at it in fear.

12. The Well-Fed Woman: Tara Sophia Mohr on Rachel Cole’s blog, in which Tara describes something I know all too well, in a way I hadn’t quite figured out how to say it yet:

I grew up making art of all kinds – but when I went to college I couldn’t find a way to create comfortably in the highly competitive, hierarchical environment there. My center drifted over to my more intellectual, left-brain side, and that became my comfort zone. The more I was centered there, the harder it was to create. I became very, very afraid making art – so frozen in my creativity, afraid of failure, afraid of “not being good.”

13. Also on Rachel Cole’s blog, a brilliant reframing of perfection, The New (Im)perfection.

14. rodrigo y gabriela, and a lesson in passion on Chookooloonks.

15. your daily rock : love what you do

16. ZenPen: Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth, a great new offering from Courtney Putnam, a six week writing ecourse. I swore I wasn’t taking any more ecourses, needed to put my energy into creating my own, but this one makes that vow so hard to keep.

This microcourse, How to Create a Microbusiness that Matters, from Courtney Carver at Be More With Less, is also making this promise a tough one to keep.

17. “Often I busy myself trying to find the key – and fail to notice the door has no lock.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

18. The August Break with Susannah Conway is back! I’m in.

19. how joy is a toughie for me from Jessica Swift.

20. My Dog Got Kicked Out Of Daycare Today.

21. Rachel Cole linked to a song in her Midsummer’s Joy post, and I was so happy, not realizing that Mary Lambert, the gorgeous female voice on Macklemore’s “Same Love,” had her own full song, She Keeps Me Warm. I bought her EP Letters Don’t Talk and have been listening to it on repeat (it’s only five songs).

22. Note from the Universe,

Dreams come true, Jill, that’s what they do. The only variable is when. For the slow approach: Resist. Attach. Insist. Deny. Stop. Second guess. Whine. Argue. Defend. Protest. Cry. Struggle. And ask others, when you know the answer yourself. For the quick approach: Visualize. Pretend. Prepare. Dodge. Roll. Serpentine. Do not waiver over intentions, but over methods. Show up, even when nothing happens. And give thanks in advance. You knew that.

24. This wisdom from Henri Nouwen and his book Turning My Mourning into Dancing, (shared by Satya in Writing Our Way Home’s newsletter),

I am gradually learning that the call to gratitude asks us to say, “Everything is grace.” As long as we remain resentful about things we wish had not happened, about relationships that we wish had turned out differently, mistakes we wish we had not made, part of our heart remains isolated, unable to bear fruit in the new life ahead of us. It is a way we hold part of ourselves apart from God.

25. Your Permanent Record from Seth Godin, in which he says, “Perfect can’t possibly be the goal, we’re left with generous, important and human instead.” Also from Seth, People like us do stuff like this.

26. A birds-eye view of this right now {Just One Paragraph 4/30} from Christina Rosalie, in which she says, “Time is a trickster. A torrent one minute, then a slow as honey crawl the next.”

27. Amazing Plant Sculptures at the Montreal Mosaiculture Exhibition 2013 on Bored Panda.

Self-Compassion Saturday: Rachel Cole

My enoughness is infallible. unshakeable. unchanging. Even in moments when I feel not enough. I am enough, experiencing temporary disconnection from that truth. ~Rachel Cole

This is a tough one for me, kind and gentle reader. When I think about Rachel Cole, consider all the ways she’s wonderful, all the ways I’m grateful for her, I feel tender and raw, get weepy. She is so special, so precious to me. I would not be here, wouldn’t still be writing this blog, would not be doing this self-compassion project, wouldn’t be living as deeply if it weren’t for Rachel Cole. How do you thank someone for that?

You shine in your own particular way, that’s how. You feed your true hungers, you do things that you never thought you could, you feel your fear and you don’t let it stop you, you cultivate confidence and clarity, you seek out joy and ease in your life.

circleI was a very different person when I first met Rachel. I didn’t have much confidence, was so sad, stuck, starving in all kinds of ways, convinced that something was fundamentally wrong with me. Rachel and I worked together in various ways — a Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop (where I learned a lot about myself), a coaching session, her Wisdom Notes, and Ease Hunting course — and a fundamental shift happened for me. I was brave enough to go to the World Domination Summit, even though Rachel was the only person I knew. I had the confidence to ask a group of wise and compassionate women to take part in this project. I am gentler and kinder with myself.

Rachel has a quiet, gentle yet powerful way of leading you to the truth. She is inspiring and supportive, fierce and compassionate, crazy intuitive and funny. She glows with energy and love. When I initially thought about doing this project, I knew she was one of the women I had to ask, and I’m so happy to be sharing her answers with you today.


image by Andrea Scher

1. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

Self-compassion is a way of relating to one’s self with a soft heart, empathy, and acceptance. I like to think of it as being at the heart of maternal love, not the love we received from our actual imperfect mothers, but the energy of pure maternal love. It is an embrace and a place to rest.

2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

I learned self-compassion because self-loathing and self-whipping were killing me. I read and studied a fair amount of buddhist and spiritual philosophy, including: Cheri Huber, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Elizabeth Lesser, Geneen Roth, Eckart Tolle, James Baraz, and the like.


3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

I practice self-compassion moment by moment. It lies in how I receive myself and what I’m experiencing. I practice awareness of self-judgement and my inner dialogue. I practice softening, allowing, embracing. The experience is energetic, emotional and somatic. It’s subtle. It’s not a button to push or switch to flip.


image by Andrea Scher

4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

I think the next level of self-compassion comes in practicing it in relationship with another. While we might be proficient and self-compassion when we’re alone and untriggered, when we’re in an intimate relationships new challenges arrise. I wouldn’t say it’s a struggle so much as a rich new terrain to practice on. I am working questions like: how to maintain the depth of my connection to myself (a prerequisite for self-compassion) while also being connected to another? How can I show compassion for myself and another when we are holding different view points or hurting? How can my own practice for self-compassion inform another as to how to relate to me with softness and kindness?

image by Andrea Scher

image by Andrea Scher

Rachel Cole is magic. “Coach. Retreat host. Instigator of ease. Hunger-satisfier. Well-fed woman.” If you get the chance to work with her, through a Retreatshop or consulting or coaching or even just reading her blog, you will be encouraged and enriched. To find out more about Rachel, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Niight Rain Wind.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.