Monthly Archives: October 2013

Wishcasting Wednesday

Jamie asks, “what treats do you wish for?”

Listening to Yuna’s new album while I write.
Cuddling with soft animal bodies.
Eating strawberry & rhubarb Noosa with granola, almonds, and raspberries.
Cancelling training and skipping yoga when my body needs a rest.
Walking and writing with Laurie.

bycarolyneicher

picture by Carolyn Eicher

Staying at 27 Powers
Pictures with Andrea.
Considering hungers with Sherry.
Receiving wisdom from Rachel.
Fairyland with Sara and her little family.
Giving gratitude and love.
Making a mess.

Connecting, long conversations about everything and nothing.
Reading.
Napping.
A warm shower, clean pjs and sheets.
Laughing.
Listening.
Working, from where and how I want to, doing what works for me.

Something Good

lifeispractice1. Posture Matters: Cute Animated Video Reminds Us to Get Off Our Butts During the Day from Yoga Dork.

2. A really good question from Justine Musk,

Pretend that a messenger from some great cosmic all-knowing sort of entity — I like to think of it as a giant punk unicorn, myself — has come to you and informed you that you have within you two gifts. The first is the message that you absolutely must get out into the world. The second is the way/talent/means for you to do it. What are those gifts?

3. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Foods That A Nutritionist Always Has In Her Freezer and Forget Dairy! Your New Best Friend Is Cashew Cream.

4. Beyond Flour: A New Kind of Gluten-Free Cookbook, another good Kickstarter Project.

5. Confessions of a Serial Memoirist from the Opinion Pages of The New York Times, in which the author says,

I was born to be a serial memoirist: compulsive, self-absorbed, narcissistic, bossy and a know-it-all.

My books so far have been old-fashioned memoirs, the hero’s journey: Falling into disgrace or despair, struggling through the fires of hell to rise, graced with a new life or at least more peace. This classic dramatic arc is not superficially imposed, but the way I think; identifying and tracing the arcs in my own life helps me find meaning and purpose.

I keep trying to improve my identity by evolving into a kinder, more loving, wise, spiritual and compassionate woman, daughter, mother, friend. This is taking a lifetime. Not a bad thing for a serial memoirist.

Word.

ladybug6. Our crystal palace from Seth Godin.

7. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Meditation begins to open up your life, so that you’re not caught in self-concern, just wanting life to go your way. In that case you no longer realize that you’re standing at the center of the world, that you’re in the middle of a sacred circle, because you’re so concerned with your worries, pains, limitations, desires, and fears that you are blind to the beauty of existence. All you feel by being caught up like this is misery, as well as enormous resentment about life in general. How strange! Life is such a miracle, and a lot of the time we feel only resentment about how it’s all working out for us.

8. Do It Because It’s What You’re Here To Do from Jonathan Fields.

9. Good stuff from Scoutie Girl: Permission to Rest and Throwing In the Towel.

10. the one thing you must do from Sas Petherick.

11. 26 Reasons Kids Are Pretty Much Just Tiny Drunk Adults on BuzzFeed.

bookshelves12. 21 People Having a Really Bad Day from Pleated Jeans.

13. A Simple Relaxation Technique to Connect Your Heart & Mind from Deva Coaching.

14. 10 Characters You May Encounter in Yoga Class on Elephant Journal, (I am a combination of 5 and 10). Also from Elephant Journal, Dear Drunk Girl.

15. I’m Finally Thin — But Is Living In A Crazymaking Food Prison Really Worth It?

16. Dani Shapiro’s Provident Move to the Country on The New York Times. I want to go to there.

17. Mortified Nation, a “documentary about adults who share their most embarrassing, private childhood writings… in front of total strangers,” which makes me wish I hadn’t destroyed all the awful poetry I wrote in my tween years.

18. 4 Secrets That Can Lead to Self-Acceptance by Anne Lamott on Oprah.com. She was on Super Soul Sunday yesterday, and I was so glad Oprah let her talk.

19. Keep It Simple, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche on Huffington Post.

20. Mindful Friday: Tech Abstinence and Self-Compassion: Hurting The Ones We Love from Jennifer Matesa on Recovering the Body.

21. Good stuff from Tiny Budda: Why Accepting Your Imperfections Is a Gift to the World and 15 Reasons to Start Following Your Dream Today.

22. Star Wars MBTI Chart from Geek in Heels. It’s no surprise to me that my Myers-Briggs personality type is Obi-Wan Kenobi.

23. When We Most Need It from Jen Lee.

24. SERIOUSLY! A Movie about PLAY.

25. Good stuff from Brain Pickings: Art as Therapy: Alain de Botton on the 7 Psychological Functions of Art, and Dani Shapiro on the Pleasures and Perils of Writing & the Creative Life, and Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living.

26. You Want to Change the World? Start With You on Huffington Post.

27. Those People on Scary Mommy.

28. your daily rock : lower the bar

Day of Rest

softdexterConfession: Even though I don’t talk about it as much as I did, I am still missing Dexter something awful. I was looking through my archive of journals this morning for something specific I wanted to write more about, stumbled across my entry from the day Dexter died, and maybe partly because Sam and Eric were gone on a walk and I was alone and knew no one would hear me or be upset by it, I started sobbing. It seems harder to “get over” this loss because I still wasn’t really over losing Obi or Kelly when “it” happened again. And to be quite honest, since I’m confessing, coming clean, in the past five or six years really awful stuff has happened, much of which I didn’t talk about here, either because it was someone else’s stuff or because the consequences of speaking out were too great. Add that to the fact I’m an introvert and Highly Sensitive Person who is easily overwhelmed and it’s a toxic mess.

Stress, suffering comes from resisting what is happening, when things aren’t going the way we wanted, and no matter how evolved we might be, how able we are to stay with, cope with the hard stuff, no one wants to see those they love suffer, get sick, or die. My delusion that I should be able to help, to fix it, and smashing myself to bits if I can’t, only adds more suffering.

Continuing in the spirit of confession, yesterday I ate an entire bag of Smart Puffs. They are all natural, gluten and trans fat free with no preservatives, and an entire bag is 630 calories, which is less than a Big Mac or a Peanut Buster Parfait, but still it was a deliberate binge. I was tired, frustrated that my energy wasn’t keeping up with everything I wanted to do, so I took a break to watch TV, a really good show from Mike Birbiglia, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. I finished off the tail end of a bag, less than 10 puffs, could have stopped right there, but made the decision to open a new bag. Multiple times I made the decision to keep going, keep eating, and eventually finished the whole bag.

(This video has been helping me to be gentle with myself when I eat something I think I shouldn’t, I remember his sweet little voice listing off everything he’d eaten, groan about how it was too much, and it makes me smile, have a sense of humor about it rather than beating myself up)

Underneath any binge is always the collection of all the other hard stuff I haven’t quite been able to deal with, all the bad stuff that’s happened, the things I’m sad or worried about, what’s been lost, the various times and ways I’ve abandoned or denied myself.

The bottom line, whether you weigh 340 pounds or 150 pounds, is that when you eat when you are not hungry, you are using food as a drug, grappling with boredom or illness or loss or grief or emptiness or loneliness or rejection. Food is only the middleman, the means to the end. Of altering your emotions. Of making yourself numb. Of creating a secondary problem when the original problem becomes too uncomfortable. Of dying slowly rather than coming to terms with your messy, magnificent, and very, very short—even at a hundred years—life. The means to these ends happens to be food, but it could be alcohol, it could be work, it could be sex, it could be cocaine. Surfing the Internet. Talking on the phone.

For a variety of reasons we don’t fully understand (genetics, temperament, environment), those of us who are compulsive eaters choose food. Not because of its taste. Not because of its texture or its color. We want quantity, volume, bulk. We need it—a lot of it—to go unconscious. To wipe out what’s going on. The unconsciousness is what’s important, not the food. ~Geneen Roth, Women Food and God.

whatareyouhungryforI am rereading Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God. You already know, if you’ve been reading, that I am working with a therapist who specializes in dis-ordered eating. I’m also starting a book group with the book Intuitive Eating led by Rachel Cole. I’m making an effort, but in other ways I am surrendering, letting go of effort, letting go of pushing and trying and forcing. I also am back to weighing the most I’ve ever weighed, after losing this same 20 pounds six years ago, having hired a trainer and started yoga and even running and going on yet another diet, starving myself down to what seemed acceptable. Slowly the weight came back — some due to more food less movement, some because of the shame I felt being called obese by someone who was supposed to be helping me, some of it because my body is changing and my metabolism and energy levels just aren’t what they were — but mostly because I wasn’t dealing with the underlying issues.

Brave Belly

When you believe without knowing you believe that you are damaged at your core, you also believe that you need to hide that damage for anyone to love you. You walk around ashamed of being yourself. You try hard to make up for the way you look, walk, feel. Decisions are agonizing because if you, the person who makes the decision, is damaged, then how can you trust what you decide? You doubt your own impulses so you become masterful at looking outside yourself for comfort. You become an expert at finding experts and programs, at striving and trying hard and then harder to change yourself, but this process only reaffirms what you already believe about yourself — that your needs and choices cannot be trusted, and left to your own devices you are out of control. ~Geneen Roth

I don’t want to keep doing this, cycling through restriction and binging, punishment and control followed by rebellion, shame and smashing myself to bits. I’ve lost all sense of what my authentic body might be and I want to discover it, that point at which I am both happy and well, sane and healthy. I want to reach the point where I can stay open to what is happening, show up for what is exactly as I am, to feel the full weight of how sad I am, how much I have lost, allowing how much it’s going to hurt. And the one thing I know for sure — it’s not about the food.

Self-Compassion Saturday: Jennifer Matesa

I first found Jennifer Matesa’s blog, Guinevere Gets Sober, when I was doing some internet research on addiction. I don’t remember the exact thing I was searching for, could have been as general and nonspecific as “addiction,” as it is an ongoing theme in my life, something I am always working with.

I was immediately struck by the fierce honesty of Jennifer’s writing, like a wind so strong you almost can’t keep your eyes open or breathe, that in the end clears everything out, makes you feel clean and alive, awake. She was able to verbalize things I knew in my gut, had experienced, made me feel sane around something that can feel so crazy, so out of control, so threatening and desperate.

The more I’ve gotten to know her, read her work, the more I adore her. We have a lot in common — dogs, meditation, writing, and teaching, and oh yeah, addiction. She is also an amazing artist, a loving and present mom, a beautiful mess of a human, and a total badass. I am so glad to share her with you today, specifically her perspective on self-compassion.

jennifermatesa021. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

In modern parlance, the word “passion” means strong feeling, more colloquially strong sexual feeling, but the root of the word is a Latin word meaning “to suffer.” So we get Christ’s “passion,” his trip to the cross, for example. So if we add the prefix com-, the word to me means “to suffer with.” And that’s a hard job to do—when someone is suffering, to suffer along with them.

We all know that life is about suffering. Even when it’s about joy, it’s about suffering (see below). Most of us want to know that we’re not alone in that suffering. And because it can be hard to establish a truly loving community—even a community of two, say in a marriage—humans will go to great lengths to numb out the suffering, using food, drugs, booze, gambling, sexuality, exercise, you name it. We put something into our bodies that makes us not-care. Today we have really top-shelf designer chemicals, including designer sugars, that can help us numb out.

So really the bottom line, the existential problem here, is that we all face life and its joys and challenges alone—and even joys can make us suffer, because the edge of true joy is so sharp (see even further below). And we know joy won’t last. But we want to make it last, or we want to numb out our fear of it not-lasting.

jenniferhandwritingI write a lot about addiction and recovery, I report from the body, and I’ve come to think of drug-use and addiction as self-abandonment. When I’m in my addiction, I abandon myself. This is one of the most powerful ideas I’ve learned.

Self-compassion is an antidote. Self-compassion asks me to be my most reliable companion on the spiral staircase of life. I may have other companions along the way, but only my Self will be with me 24/7.

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?

For me it’s an ongoing project. I grew up in an alcoholic family that was by turns crazy and preternaturally calm, as in the calm before the storm. I learned first to ally my feelings with the crazy-makers, to take care of the people who were going nuts so I could try to hold off the downpour. Of course, this is an impossible project—an anti-rain dance. People call this “codependence.” I’ve started calling it self-abandonment.

I’m learning self-compassion on a day-to-day basis by practicing the principles that helped me detox off a shitload of painkillers five years ago. I never, ever, ever thought I’d be able to quit taking those drugs, I was on such a high level for so long, and after years on them I had no idea how to live without them. (More and more these days, physicians and addiction professionals are claiming that folks like me are sort of genetically unable to live without drugs, which I’m happy to offer living proof is wrong.) I have a community of people around me who are able to live chemical-free and, at no charge, they’ve passed down the principles that allow them to do this. Without practicing those principles, I’d either be dead or in prison. The basis of those principles is deep, authentic self-love.

jennifershadowBy “practice” I mean just that. Like a kid who has to practice his piano scales for half an hour a day. Like a kid who has to stand in front of the ball-feeder and hit her forehand. It’s spiritual fitness, it’s just practice. Which means I need to expect to hit a few foul balls. Which is such a relief after expecting myself to bat .1000 for the first 40-some years of my life.

I’ve read Stephen Mitchell’s translations, and Pema Chodron and Thich Nhat Hanh. But I’m more grounded in literature. Shakespeare (both plays and sonnets), Karen Armstrong, Mary Karr, David Foster Wallace, Terry Tempest Williams, Kathleen Norris, Adrienne Rich, Toi Derricotte, Sharon Olds, and too many others to choose, including anonymous stories of people who have found moments—sometimes long stretches—of self-compassion. I also love children’s books. Roald Dahl, Russell Hobbs, John Burningham. Quentin Blake’s Zagazoo is one of the most amazing stories of self-compassion I’ve ever read. The characters in his many books practice accepting their own idiosyncrasies and oddities and beauty and sadness, living inside the light places and the dark ones. I’m glad to have read them to my son when he was a little boy. I believe they shaped his consciousness.

jenniferflowerI’ve had many moments of clarity. Quite often they’re small moments that carry great power. I’ll tell you a story about the most recent one. This July I visited New York City and Fire Island. So I have almost four years sober, and five years off drugs that could have killed me, and I drove to Manhattan with my new road bike and met up with a friend who’s an athlete with 30-some years sober. He also grew up in an alcoholic family, and we have a lot to talk about. He took me on a 12-mile nighttime ride through the city, starting in West Harlem, through Morningside and a couple circuits around Central Park, then finally down the length of Fifth Avenue from 59th Street. The Fifth Avenue stretch was three miles—on a Saturday night, prime club-hopping time, no bike lane, yellow cabs weaving in and out like swarms of bees. I relaxed into following this person I trust and at one point nearly got squeezed by two cabs fighting for a spot at the curb. My instincts saved me. I realized that, at any moment, a cab could take either one of us out for good. Yet there we were, speeding down Fifth Avenue on a clear Saturday night, completely present and aware, telling stories at red lights, choosing to do something with our bodies other than drinking and partying and spending tons of money, and of course there’s no language that’s not cliché to describe the gestalt of the scene — “center of the universe”? “heart of civilization”? the core of the Big Apple, blah blah blah. I thought, “We’re out of our fucking minds!” And then I thought of watching my mother die at 58 of lung cancer from a lifetime of chain-smoking, I thought about her abusive childhood that was more damaging than mine, and I thought about how she’d never done anything like this in her life. Not anything like it. She was living in a deeper insanity than I do. The next day I stepped onto a ferry to Fire Island and I’d left my car and my bike in the lot on the mainland, and I had just a few necessities, and a close friend was coming to meet me at the dock, and as I sat on the top deck watching the sun set and the fog roll in over the sound I felt enormous joy in my chest, white-light, as if my ribs would rip apart.

jennifermatesa3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

Here’s the important part of the story I just told: at the moment I felt that joy, my mind told me, You don’t get to feel this. That’s the divide that happens, the moment when I have a choice about whether to practice self-compassion. I don’t get to feel this. But when I sank back into my body, when I allowed myself to feel what my body was feeling, I realized, I’m feeling joy. It’s real.

The body does not lie. That’s why I say I report from the body. All my books and a lot of my other stuff is about that. My new blog does that, and so will my forthcoming book.

jenniferbronze

Bronze cast by Roxanne Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo, N.M.

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 struggle with understanding what’s real and what’s not real. I live a great deal of the day in my head. As a kid I learned to deal with family stress by making up stories, or imagining myself into other people’s stories—either in books or the lives of other real people. Because much of the time Real Reality was intolerable. So I just Made Up Shit. I made up my own reality, and I lived there for a long time. This instinct is as old in me as my heart is. I still have pajamas and a pillow in that space.

I mean, this is normal to an extent. Human imagination is divinely designed to relieve us of the pain of reality, and it’s also there to enlarge human experience through creativity, the making of art and the expansion of perception. Imagination is very old: the cave paintings at Lascaux and Altamira accomplish all that stuff. I’m reading a book about the evolution of singing, and it turns out we learned to sing not only as a survival tool to scare the lions away but also as a method of moving into trance, into our own imaginations, into contact with emotion and spirit. Singing helped change the shapes of our bodies and minds; it helped us ask the first question. No other ground-dwelling animal sings. Human beings need that experience of expansive perception. But craving it, using imagination compulsively to break from reality, using it to the point where you can’t tell reality from unreality is, in its further stages, I think, called psychosis!

So my self-compassion practice today is about distinguishing reality from my imaginings and fantasies and fears. What helps is meditation, prayer (whatever that is), and checking in with people I’m pretty sure are sane and healthy and relatively content.

jenniferselfportrait

self-portrait

I am so grateful to Jennifer, for taking part in this series and for continuing to write, work, and live in a way that makes things clear, showing up for what is hard, for what hurts, and finding a way through it, offering up her experience, her path as a map to others. Jennifer is working on a new book about physical recovery from addiction to be released next year, and is a 2013 fellow at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. To find out more about Jennifer, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Sandi Amorim.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning. Or make your way through all the posts tagged Self-Compassion Saturday.

Gratitude Friday

1. Fall weather, cool but sunny, my favorite.

2. KIND bars, especially cranberry & almond, and dark chocolate nuts & sea salt.

3. Schlumbergera, more commonly known as Christmas Cactus, but mine bloom closer to Thanksgiving, and right now the two in my office are covered in blooms that are about to burst, ready to pop.

4. Cooking dinner. I don’t do it that often. I used to do it all the time when Eric and I were first married, but then when I went to graduate school he took over, and he liked it whereas for me it was a chore so he kept doing it, but lately I’ve been trying some new things, some that have worked out and others not so much, and it feels good.

5. Reconnecting with a friend. At a certain point when you haven’t talked or seen each other in a long time, you start to think, “are we fighting? did we break up?” but then yesterday, I forwarded an email that I thought might be of interest, and finally, finally just said it, “how are you? I miss you. are we okay?” and found out that she felt the same way, was also wondering what had happened.

Bonus Joy: Hugging Eric in the kitchen first thing in the morning when neither one of us is really awake yet, when Sam has already eaten breakfast and is back in bed.

Wishcasting Wednesday

Claim

image from Jamie’s post

Today, Jamie asks, “What do you wish to claim?” At first, I couldn’t think of anything, and then I shifted to actively resisting an answer. Something about the word made me do that old thing where I shrink from asserting myself, my desires — “oh no, it’s okay, I’m fine.” Well, forget that…

I wish to claim space, my right to take up space, to stretch and move around and breathe and make noise, to fill it, to be solid, to be here, to exist.

I wish to claim my voice, my truth, my perspective, the way I see things, what I feel, my unique experience.

I wish to claim my right to speak, to take part in the conversation, to have an opinion, to be who I am and show up exactly that, not start a question with “sorry,” not apologize but have permission, confidence, faith, to stand in and speak my truth.

I wish to claim that the way I am being asked to live by this culture is crazy, a lie, a violence I will no longer accept, that there is no sanity at this pace, that I do not have to hate myself to take part, and I am allowed to do and take what I need, to rest, go as slow as it takes to be well.

I wish to claim quiet and stillness.

I wish to claim wisdom and kindness, to assert that these qualities are the fundamental nature of every being, no matter how confused or lost.

I wish to claim that fitting in and being good, perfection, and “hustling for worthiness” are wrongheaded, symptoms of dis-ease and not a place to live.

I wish to claim the full measure of love, even knowing how much I hurt when the inevitable loss comes.

I wish to claim my body, life experienced in a body — both the responsibility and the gift.

I wish to claim the time I need to heal, to surrender to wholeness, health and sanity.

I wish to claim delight, joy and ease.

Something Good

1. Fears and Flashbacks from Sas Petherick.

2. your daily rock : do what you love and your daily rock : please don’t judge

3. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: In Defense Of Highly Sensitive People, and 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Every Day, and If You Do Nothing Else To Be Healthy, At Least Do These 5 Things.

4. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: 8 Ways to Make Every Day Your Best Without Pretending You’re Happy or Letting Go, and 10 Ways to Be a Human Being, and Why God Made a Dog. {Video} (*sob*), and Top 10 Photos: Outdoorsy Tiny Cabin Porn, (if you like that sort of thing, make sure to go to the Cabin Porn website).

5. I am obsessed with learning to make Kitchari: How To Cook Kitchari, and How to make Kitchari using the Banyan Kitchari Kit, and My Favorite Kitchari Recipe.

6. Prints with poetry from Maya Stein. I’m hoping she makes a book of these someday.

7. Opening the Creative Channel from Superhero Life, in which Andrea Scher talks about the retreat I was lucky enough to attend.

8. Sweet dog asks cat for his bed back on Dog Heirs and in related news, this Cats Stealing Dog Beds Compilation.

9. 10 Life Lessons You Should UnlearnMartha Beck on Huffington Post.

10. My Art Was Stolen for Profit (and How You Can Help) from Lisa Congdon. And a whole bunch of other articles related to this situation: a Flickr page of other indie ripoffs, and Is Giant Folk Art Company Cody Foster Stealing From Small Artists?, and We Love Authenticity, and How A Company Gets Away With Stealing Independent Designers’ Work, and Drawing the Line on Design Theft.

11. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Not acting on our habitual patterns is only the first step toward not harming others or ourselves. The transformative process begins at a deeper level when we contact the rawness we’re left with whenever we refrain. As a way of working with our aggressive tendencies, Dzigar Kongtrül teaches the nonviolent practice of simmering. He says that rather than “boil in our aggression like a piece of meat cooking in a soup,” we simmer in it. We allow ourselves to wait, to sit patiently with the urge to act or speak in our usual ways and feel the full force of that urge without turning away or giving in. Neither repressing nor rejecting, we stay in the middle between the two extremes, in the middle between yes and no, right and wrong, true and false. This is the journey of developing a kindhearted and courageous tolerance for our pain.

12. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 10 Truths You Will Learn Before You Find Happiness, and 10 Risks Happy People Take Every Day.

13. “I don’t get it” from Seth Godin.

14. The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide – Part One from Rachel Cole, who has very good taste.

15. You are not in control from Christina Rosalie, in which she says,

What is yours is the way you meet the turbulence as it arrives: with grace or terror, with gratitude or anger, with openness or clenched fists, with focus or distraction. Your life will find you, no matter what you plan. Be here then. Be of this wild, brilliant new day. Respond as truly as you can, and know this life is made both of your breath, and of the wind you breathe.

16. Oprah Tells An Atheist She Believes In God. The Atheist Responds Like A Christian. Or Any Human on Upworthy. Confession: I am kind of annoyed with Oprah right now, how she doesn’t let people say what they have to say, how she seems to sometimes use them simply to say what she’s already decided to say. Case in point, Dani Shapiro on Super Soul Sunday yesterday. Oprah would not let her finish, not let her speak, kept interrupting her. It was so hard to watch.

17. Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming on The Guardian.

18. Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime on Scientific American.

19. Watch A Student Totally Nail Something About Women That I’ve Been Trying To Articulate For 37 Years on Upworthy. Amazing.

20. Seven Unusual Tips to Stir Your Creative Juices from Judy Clement Wall.

21. Why Oreos Are As Addictive As Cocaine To Your Brain on Forbes.

22. Man overhears sad tale in diner, secretly pays for meal, because people are good.

23. 30 Of The Happiest Facts Ever from Bored Panda.

24. Piktochart looks really fun. I first saw an example on Create as Folk, in this post, (which is also something good): Get the Bleep off Craigslist.

25. 4 Reasons I Don’t Believe in the Law of Attraction on Always Well Within.

26. 7 Things To Look At When You Feel Bad About Your Body on Huffington Post.

27. Why I’m Infatuated With October on Scoutie Girl.

28. Wisdom from Franz Kafka,

You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.

29. Scientists Discover One Of The Greatest Contributing Factors To Happiness — You’ll Thank Me Later a Soul Pancake video on Upworthy.

30. Charlie the Dog Is the World’s Worst Recycler on Jezebel. An empty plastic water bottle really is one of the best puppy toys ever. Reminds me of Sam when he was a puppy, and I’d hide a ball under a tupperware bowl and he’d try to get it out. (P.S. Dexter was the best big brother).

31. 7 Life-Changing Benefits of a Surprisingly Simple Meditation Technique on Tiny Buddha.

32. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, A freebie 2014 calendar template for your photos (such a cool idea!), and What People Really Look Like from Portland Home Massage, in which masseuse Dave says,

Everybody on a massage table is beautiful. There are really no exceptions to this rule. At that first long sigh, at that first thought that “I can stop hanging on now, I’m safe” – a luminosity, a glow, begins. Within a few minutes the whole body is radiant with it. It suffuses the room: it suffuses the massage therapist too. People talk about massage therapists being caretakers, and I suppose we are: we like to look after people, and we’re easily moved to tenderness. But to let you in on a secret: I’m in it for the glow.

I’ll tell you what people look like, really: they look like flames. Or like the stars, on a clear night in the wilderness.

33. My Most Meaningful Decision on Design Sponge.

34. One Question (plus a few more) from Julia on Painted Path.

35. More Bat Dad, who was also interviewed on TODAY.

36. From Positively Present Picks, free desktop downloads from Design Love Fest.

37. Clever cat helps dog escape from kitchen (VIDEO) from Dog Heirs.

38. whatthefuckshouldibeforhalloween.com

39. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

40. Wisdom from Geneen Roth on Facebook,

When you stop warring with yourself, when you end the shaming and judging and blaming, when you stop the pushing and pulling and feeding the desire to be someone else with a different life, the war with food ends as well. Maybe not all at once, but soon. It couldn’t be any other way.

41. Amazing Secret Dungeon discovered under my new apartment…


42. Childish Gambino Explains Instagram Notes, in which he says,

“If I’m depressed, everybody’s depressed, I don’t think those feelings are that different from what everybody’s feeling. Most people just don’t tell everybody. I was just tired of telling people I was tired. It felt like every day someone would ask, ‘What’s wrong. Are you OK?’ “And I would say, ‘I’m tired, I’m tired.’ I didn’t want to do that anymore. I guess sometimes not telling the truth is just as bad as telling a lie.”

43. From Brain Pickings: Humans of New York: A Vibrant Photographic Census of Diversity and Dignity and Fail Safe: Debbie Millman’s Advice on Courage and the Creative Life.

44. The photographer behind ‘Humans of New York’ on CNN.

45. Read this when you’re feeling unwanted + rejected. (You’re not. This will help.) from Alexandra Franzen.

46. How Not to Be Alone on The New York Times.

P.S. This is my 100th Something Good list!