Monthly Archives: February 2014

Gratitude Friday

1. Only one more week until Ringo gets his final round of shots and then we can start walking him and taking him to daycare, wearing him out and getting a break from him. I love that little dude, but I’ve got a lot of other things going on too.

sleepyringo022. A good therapist. Her ability to see, her willingness to help, her wisdom and compassion. It doesn’t hurt that we are a lot alike so she’s able to help me both laugh at myself and see my worth more clearly.

3. Crackers, cheese, and a crunchy apple.

4. Realizing I’ve made a mistake, and being able to fix it.

5. New books. Wish I could spend the weekend reading, but I have yoga teacher training.

Bonus joy: Tiny beautiful things and good friends that make it easier to not give up.

Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour, a Kickstarter Project

Maya Stein is one of my favorite living poets. She has a Kickstarter project that is a mix of some of my favorite things, “A pair of poets riding a tandem bicycle and towing two typewriters 1,400 miles from Boulder, Colorado to Beloit, Wisconsin, building tiny libraries and promoting poetry, community, a love of reading, and the spirit of collaboration along the way.” There are five days left to fund this project. May it be fully funded and of great benefit to everyone lucky enough to be involved.

Three Truths and One Wish

bigboyharness1. Sometimes having a puppy is boring. You have to watch them constantly when they are awake and loose, and even though they sleep a lot it’s in short bursts so you can’t really get a lot done. You are cautioned by your vet to not take them anywhere until they are 16 weeks and have had all their shots, so even if you cheat on that so you can socialize them, you are more isolated than usual. You get cabin fever, go stir crazy, and this particular puppy came in the middle of winter, so there was even more of that. After weeks and weeks of this, you kinda wish they’d grow up already. They are impossibly cute and loveable and sometimes hilarious when they are small and you know you’ll miss it when they get big, but at the same time they are making you crazy and boring you to tears.

Spend as much as you want on toys, an empty plastic jug wins every time

Spend as much as you want on toys, an empty plastic jug wins every time

Danielle LaPorte posted last week about being so sick she’d had to cancel lots of important things, stuff she’d really wanted to do. She said about it, “Sometimes life will bind you so you can feel how free and loved you are.” I feel the same about this moment in my life, this brief moment that I keep wishing away even as I work so hard to be here, to stay present.

Ringo's first bath

Ringo’s first bath

2. “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’m not sure who to attribute that to, as I’ve seen it assigned various authors. Whoever said it, it’s so true. These puppy days feel like they’ve gone on forever and might never end, but the almost eight years we had with Obi and the barely ten we had with Dexter felt impossibly short. I still have trouble believing they are really gone, struggle to understand how that could even be possible.

theboysbig3. You have to be a particular kind of crazy to raise a dog. It’s so much work and your time with them is so short. And the love sneaks up on you. One day you are fantasizing about running away from home or giving them back, and the next you are hopelessly and irrevocably bonded to them. There’s nothing else in my life I put so much effort toward only to have my heart broken in the end, knowing that’s the only possible outcome.

brothersparttwoOne wish (okay, more like many wishes): To keep my heart open and stay present no matter what arises. To not give up, no matter how hard it gets. To lean into love and joy as an antidote to suffering. To be gentle and forgive myself when I make a mistake. To know I am doing the best I can. To relax and stop trying so hard.

I am wishing the same for you, kind and gentle reader, in whatever way you need that in your life.

Something Good

1. 3 yrs ago you were evicted from 20 Catherine St 13B. I have your dog. (newyork.craigslist.org) on Elephant Journal. “P.S. you can’t have her back.”

2. Buddhist Cave Temples Are Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous on Huffington Post. I want to go to there.

3. At the cusp between wonder and fact from Christina Rosalie, one of the most beautiful writers alive, in more ways than one.

4. Young people swap clothes with grandparents and parents for charming, fascinating photos.

5. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

You don’t need to know everything. You just need to be in love with what you trust in your bones, and be free enough in that not to break each time the world whispers a new truth in your ear.

6. Wisdom from Elana Miller at Zen Psychiatry,

Life is precious, even when it’s imperfect, painful, and sad. Especially when it’s imperfect, painful, and sad.

7. Wisdom from Thich Nhat Hahn, “Only the present moment contains life.”

8. 22 Adorable Before And After Pictures Of Animals Growing Up on Bored Panda.

9. While I’m gone from Rachel Cole.

10. Wisdom from Unknown, “Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, and my kindness for weakness.”

11. My New Favorite Thing, a recipe for chickpea fries that looks delicious.

12. Slippery Slope from XKCD.

13. Wonderland from SouleMama.

14. Wounda’s Journey: Jane Goodall releases chimpanzee into forest.

15. Easiest Brussels Sprouts Recipe You’ll Ever Make on MindBodyGreen. One of my favorite ways to eat Brussel Sprouts.

16. Having Kids: Expectations Vs. Reality on BuzzFeed.

17. Renegade Mothering. I’m not a mom of humans, but I love the perspective of this blog, appreciate the humor and the wisdom.

18. 10 Ways To Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Lessons from my book Show Your Work! Austin Kleon on Medium. My copy should arrive any day now.

19. Stop Resisting: Surrender to Your Body to Transform It and Your Life on Tiny Buddha.

20. On What Disturbs, Then Nourishes by Dani Shapiro, (thanks to Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links list for the link).

21. 5 Spiritual Lessons I Learned From Obsessing Over Food, Isabel Foxen Duke on MindBodyGreen.

22. 15 Powerful Beliefs that Will Free You from Negativity from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

23. Letting Go: What it means. How to do it. on Elephant Journal.

24. And, just because baby elephants are stupid cute, (from Reddit). Stupid cute = Someone or something that is so attractive it disrupts your ability to intelligently process information while looking at it, something so unbelievably cute it makes you stupid.

babyelephant

Gratitude Friday

1. The wind. Let me explain. Windy is actually one of my least favorite weathers. However, yesterday there was a moment when I was crossing campus and noticed the way the shadows of the bare tree branches danced on the sidewalk and heard the soft whisper of that movement, and I felt so happy, content, and quiet — for a few minutes I was in love with the wind. Then it bit into me with its cold teeth and I was back to wishing it away.

2. Lilies, blooms as big as my head.

lilies3. Walking with sweet Sam. With a new puppy, and the below zero temperatures and snow of late, I had only been getting in a few short afternoon walks with Sam, his dad was getting (having?) to go in the mornings, but this week I got to go on the long morning walk, twice. I love that dog so much, wish he didn’t have to struggle.

4. Ringo, and even his alter ego, Wolverine. Our puppy class trainer the other night reminded us we should never use our dog’s name when we are mad at them or they are getting in trouble, that we want them to only have good associations with their name (helps with recall training). She said she’d gone as far as giving her dog a second name for when she’s getting in trouble. So, I have done the same for Ringo. His second name is Wolverine. And the unintended consequence is that when I remember to use it when I’m mad or he’s being bad (his new trick is chewing on the legs of the dining room table), it totally breaks the tension because I can’t say it without cracking myself up. I laugh instead of killing him. (I wouldn’t actually kill him).

5. Knowing that no matter what I do, things will turn out more or less okay, that I don’t actually have enough power or control to completely ruin anything.

Bonus Joy: A dry backyard. After weeks of being covered in snow, and then melting into a mess of ice and mud, it’s finally usable again. When you have two dogs, one who is only 13 weeks old, it’s kind of a big deal.

Something Good

ericlongwinter031. Time to Thrive, transcript of speech given by Ellen Page on Huffington Post, in which she says,

You’re here because you’ve adopted as a core motivation the simple fact that this world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives.

Then again, it’s not easy at all. It can be the hardest thing, because loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves.

2. Wisdom from Lodro Rinzler, “Gentleness to oneself is the foundation of the entire meditative path.”

3. How “Fearless” is the new perfectionism from Your Courageous Life.

4. Let thanks land from Jonathan Fields.

5. A Photo Essay: The Lone Tree from Tammy at Rowdy Kittens.

6. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

The crazy life is oh so tempting….ohhhh sooooo tempting. It is tempting to go go go and prove prove prove and seek seek seek for apPROVE-al, isn’t it? It is tempting to do what everyone else is doing…and to make it shiny and sparkly and perfect and wonderful and to sacrifice anything and everything to make it so. It is oh-so-easy to get caught up in the competition…in the comparing…in the craziness of what it *seems* like everyone else is doing.

Beautiful friend…pay attention very closely to how you feel when you are giving in to this kind of temptation. Pay attention to how it feels to go faster than you really have strength to go….to prove that you are just as good, or just as wonderful, or just as talented. Pay attention to how it feels to constantly seek for the approval of others. Pay attention to how it feels to enter into the competition…to compare your life with the life of others. If it doesn’t feel good, any of it…….it’s time to evaluate it all.

Sometimes we get so caught up in this way of living that we forget that there is another way to live. There really is another way to live, beautiful soul. We don’t have to enter in to the crazy life…and even when we do….we really can walk away.

It is worth the hard decision of turning around and walking away from a crazy life that doesn’t make sense. It is always always always worth it to go where the peace is….where the best stuff is…….where we can just BE and not feel like we have to BE ENOUGH. We are ALL already enough.

Go where the peace is, sweet girl. You were always meant to have peace.

7. How an On-Air Panic Attack Improved My Life by Dan Harris.

8. Wisdom from Kris Carr, “Confidence and self-reliance come from a deep trust in yourself. You know that you’ve got your back and that no matter what, you will not abandon yourself.”

9. Wisdom from Meryl Streep, “This is your time and it feels normal to you, but really, there is no normal. There’s only change and resistance to it and then more change.”

10. Artist Turns Fellow Train Passengers Into Funny Cartoon Characters with His Post-It Note Doodles.

11. Remembering Maggie Estep from Neil Gaiman.

12. What I won’t and will miss, a list from Norah Ephron.

13. Uncommon Advice to Heal a Broken Heart, Susan Piver on Huffington Post.

14. College Students Scared Straight Prank. I don’t want to laugh, but I can’t help it.

15. A Lost Dog Story from Mark Hass.

16. Wisdom from Henry Miller, “Let us do our best, even if it gets us nowhere.”

17. Truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte: “Be willing to start over” and “Start leaving what you want to leave. Your future is waiting.”

18. More wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

Dear Sensitive Girl,

Your soul is whispering something to you. Slow down so you can hear it.

You know what do to…..your heart is smart, and it is telling you in a million different ways. You can trust it.

You know exactly what to do….you really do. Listen to those whispers….they are leading you toward all that is good and right for YOUR life.

You are so brave, you are so wonderful, you are so on track.

You are so loved.

xoxo

19. The story of Owen and Haatchi on Viral Nova.

20. An Awesome Book of Love, “Yael Staav’s poignant and emotional interpretation of Dallas Clayton’s celebrated storybook, An Awesome Book of Love, shows us that love is truly humanity’s greatest gift.”

21. Jump Off the Busy Train for a Simpler, More Passion-Filled Life on Tiny Buddha.

22. The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck on Medium.

23. On Softening to Pain on Zen Psychiatry. Since I read this, I can’t stop asking myself this question, “How can I soften into this?”

24. Warning: Do not read this if you enjoy clinging to excuses that prevent you from making art, moving forward + doing wonderful things from Alexandra Franzen. No more excuses.

25. A story from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook that will make you think.

26. Rachel Cole’s 5 Essentials for a Passionate, Well-Fed Life on The Kitchn.

27. Laurie Wagner on breaking a love affair with the screens that fuel our lonely habits on Flourish. P.S. There’s still time to sign up for her ecourse, Telling True Stories.

28. Should spiritual teachers be paid? from Susan Piver. (Recognize that shrine? It’s on my writing desk.) According to the logic of the original email, it would suggest that doctors and teachers shouldn’t be paid either, that if you are fulfilling a need you shouldn’t be compensated. I don’t buy it.