Category Archives: 27 Powers

Something Good

1. From Brave Girls Club,

Let it go.
Let it fall.
Let it be.

2. Tattoo Stories on The New Yorker.

3. 11 Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Stress from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

4. 9 Mind-Bending Epiphanies That Turned My World Upside-Down.

4. Wisdom from TKV Desikachar, “The more you teach the more you must practice.”

5. Wisdom from Jane Austen, “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”

6. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: The pith teaching of all Buddhadharma, and The 10 Things We’ll Never Tell You in Yoga Teacher Training (But Should), (Thanks for sharing this one, Keri), and How to be Naked in front of Strangers, (Thanks for writing this one, Keri).

7. I Decided to Live My Truth on Rebelle Society.

8. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

It helps to remember that our spiritual practice is not about accomplishing anything—not about winning or losing—but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is. That is what we are doing when we sit down to meditate. That attitude spreads into the rest of our lives.

9. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel,

In order to show up, we must “indulge” in the quiet comfort of restoration.

In order to show up, we must fill our reservoir of strength.

In order to show up, we require: quiet, sleep, touch, love, foods that nourish us, and space to acknowledge our own divinity – the places where we belong in the family of things.

Restoration is not passive. Instead it the a mandatory process of filling the well so that you will have the resources that you need to keep moving, keep desiring, and keep showing up.

10. Time folds like an accordion on A Design So Vast.

11. Wisdom in poetry form from Nayyirah Waheed,

“in our own ways we all break. it is okay to hold your heart outside of your body for days. months. years. at a time. – heal

12. What It’s like to Fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class.

13. Depression and Suicide In Animal Care Professions: What Can We Do? (Thanks for sharing, Sarah).

14. More wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “The life force of the path of fearlessness is genuineness, that is to say, to not be afraid of ourselves.” (Thanks for sharing, Susan).

15. I Am a Woman Reclaiming Body Trust on Huffington Post.

16. They Were Friends, But She Was In Love. When She Tells The Crowd What He Said, They Go Silent. on Upworthy.

17. Mary Lambert Does One Mic, One Take Version of “So Far Away.”

18. Comparing Grief: A Useless Endeavor.

19. Erin Moon: Walking The Path Back To Life on the Good Life Project.

20. Your Career Homecoming with Laura Simms. I told her yesterday that “I seriously feel a little sad for myself that [my career] is the one place I have my shit figured out. It’s like being too old for the most awesome summer camp ever.”

21. Wisdom from Dallas Clayton,

You are as beautiful now
as when you were a beautiful child
before anyone told you what everything meant
and your beautiful heart could run wild.

22. True Stories Series: Meet Lisa Sadikman from Laurie Wagner.

23. friday’s confession: I’m not here to save you from Tiffany Han.

24. On Liam and Balloons and Staying Open on Momastery.

25. Practicing Nonviolence Toward Self, an important article from Phillip Moffatt, in which he says,

The Trappist monk and spiritual author Thomas Merton once said, “To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times.”

26. I’m Giving Up on My Son, and I’ve never had a more acute feeling of failure on Medium.

27. 10 Reasons You Don’t Want to Be My Friend Now That I Have Kids on Huffington Post.

28. Meredith Woolnough’s Embroideries Mimic Delicate Forms of Nature on Colossal.

29. Good stuff from Laura Pritchett: The Brutal Truth About Writing About a Father’s Alzheimer’s and Soapbox: Discuss Alzheimer’s disease openly. P.S. Her latest novel, Stars Go Blue, is so good, I read it in a single day.

30. Wisdom from Julia Cameron, “The seeds of our creativity require enough solitude and space to grow unhindered,” and “As creative beings, we need silence.”

31. Skillful Service is Born of a Quiet Heart from Jack Kornfield.

32. Wisdom from Mark Wagner, “Who doesn’t have something for which they need to atone, someone with whom they need to reconcile, something for which they need forgiveness, or someone they need to forgive?”

33. Wisdom from Geneen Roth on Facebook.

34. 17 Mom Confessions about F’ed Up Things Their Kids Have Done on Huffington Post. I get an extra giggle from how many of these involve poop.

35. Other lists of good things worth checking out:

Something Good


1. Wisdom from Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche,

Compassion is the spontaneous wisdom of the heart. It’s always with us. It always has been and always will be. When it arises in us, we’ve simply learned to see how strong and safe we really are.

2. Forgive yourself, and Turning passion on its head, from Seth Godin.

3. Note from the Universe,

When you understand, Jill, that what most people really, really want is simply to feel good about themselves, and when you realize that with just a few well-chosen words you can help virtually anyone on the planet instantly achieve this, you begin to realize just how simple life is, how powerful you are, and that love is the key.

4. Good stuff on Medium: The Price of Modern Life Is Depression And Loneliness?, and The Micro-Dwellings of Hong Kong, and Navigating By the Stars, and Seat 21A: A window seat reminder of humanity.

5. Heroes (Vocal Mix) by Cazzette.

6. Call Me Cupcake. Warning, this blog will make you swoon with 14 kinds of hunger.

7. Effective marketing for introverts from Paul Jarvis.

8. Of curtains and climate change and compromise on This (Sorta) Old Life. If everyone made choices so thoughtfully, so compassionately, we’d come much closer to easing suffering, in ourselves and in the world.

9. Bridging the gap from Life is Limitless. I’ve been following Caroline’s journey for a long time, since back when she quit her job, sold all her things, and started traveling. I am so loving the things she’s creating right now.

10. Hello, Wonderful with Mara Glatzel. I just got my first email this morning — so good. And there’s still time to sign up, 12 days of love notes. Even if you don’t sign up, you really should subscribe to her newsletter, because this: In Celebration of Your Quiet Revolutions and this: In Full Bloom.

11. You do not have to be good on Writing Our Way Home.

12. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön. She’s talking about meditation here, but I think it applies to all types of practice.

We’re encouraged to meditate every day, even for a short time, in order to cultivate steadfastness with ourselves. We sit under all kinds of circumstances—whether we are feeling healthy or sick, whether we’re in a good mood or depressed, whether we feel our meditation is going well or is completely falling apart. As we continue to sit we see that meditation isn’t about getting it right or attaining some ideal state. It’s about being able to stay present with ourselves. It becomes increasingly clear that we won’t be free of self-destructive patterns unless we develop a compassionate understanding of what they are.

13. Why I’m Done With Dreaming Big on Create as Folk. Amen, Laura.

14. Yoga, Meditation in Action, a podcast interview with Seane Corn at OnBeing, (thanks for sharing this, Tammy). “Breathe, and everything changes.”

15. Wisdom from Shanti, “At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling.” (Thanks for sharing, Dani).

16. Why We Tell Stories from Laurie Wagner. This, “The biggest boogy man was always you.” Oh how I adore her…

17. Good stuff from Viral Nova: Puppy Approves Of Her Soon-To-Be Baby Sister and This Loving Couple Built The Home Of Their Dreams…And Ours.

18. I Quit Eating Only Salad or Eating Only Cake — Because I am Worthy, Loved & Beautiful on Rebelle Society.

19. Why BMI Is a Big Fat Scam on Mother Jones.

20. On the Private Heart from Dani Shapiro.

21. “Authentic” versus “Cool.” (Thanks to Mary Anne for sharing).

22. Redeemed, Amitava Kumar interviews Cheryl Strayed.

23. Wisdom from Geneen Roth on Facebook,

Words like should, shouldn’t, right, wrong, good, bad, they don’t work. They don’t work, because that’s not enough of a heart inspiration. Because, unless you know what you want, you will flip and flop from one to the other.

So ask yourself: What do you want? Who do you want to be? What matters to do? And move towards. In order to truly change, it takes moving towards, not moving away, because moving away is not good enough.

24. On loving an addict.

25. Wisdom from Cassandra Clare. (thanks to Pixie Campbell for sharing).

Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy — all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but YOU are the light inside.

26. It’s a mitzvah for others to help, a voice memo from Andrea Scher.

27. This Rescued Elephant Playing with Ribbon is the Best Thing You’ll See Today on Twisted Sifter.

28. 9 Rules Every Yoga Teacher Should Follow on Elephant Journal.

29. Tiny Home in the Woods. I want to go to there.

30. The hours become like a dream, the days like liquid one swelling towards the next from Christina Rosalie, truly one of my favorite writers.

31. 11 Ways to Solve Rape Better than Nail Polish.

32. 20 Vivid Hummingbird Close-ups Reveal Their Incredible Beauty on Bored Panda.

33. Fig Tart with Goat Cheese and Pistachios. Holy yum.

34. Zen garden kitty, on Reddit.

35. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass. This song gets stuck in my head.

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


1. The Definitive Manifesto for Handling Haters: Anne Lamott on Priorities and How We Keep Ourselves Small by People-Pleasing on Brain Pickings. I saw Anne’s original post first and made a note to share it with you, but then I saw Maria’s commentary (and graphic) and liked it so much how she framed what Anne said, I’m sharing it instead.

annelamottquote2. Bunny eating raspberries.

3. Good stuff on Huffington Post: Once We Become Parents We Don’t Want to Hang Out With You Anymore (But Not for the Reasons You Think), and 10 Ways I Am Failing Adulthood, and Not Being a Mother Doesn’t Make Me Any Less of a Woman.

4. No is essential from Seth Godin.

5. Poetry Saves the Day * Meet Alison Luterman from Laurie Wagner on 27 Powers.

6. It’s Not About Doing What You’re Good At, a guest post from Rachel Cole on Create as Folk.

7. 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism on Tricycle.

8. 5 Details They Cut from My Season of “The Biggest Loser.”

9. What you see, a comic from The Oatmeal.

10. Beautiful and strange things from Colossal: Flocks of Birds Laser Cut from Maps by Claire Brewster and Tattooed Porcelain Figures by Jessica Harrison.

11. Dear Mom Judging the Mom on Her iPhone from Mother Wise.

12. How It Feels When A “Fabulously Creative” Business Coach Steals 23 of Your Blog Posts from Melanie Biehle.

13. The Movies You Definitely Need to See This Summer on Hello Giggles (with movie trailer clips).

14. Because Life is Messy on Elephant Journal.

15. The Gift on Zen Habits.

16. Good stuff on Medium: Storytelling Is A Magical, Ruthless Discipline (Zadie Smith’s full remarks from the 2014 Moth Ball Gala), and It’s Bikini Body Season! So What Should I Do With My Regular Body?, and The REAL reason you’re stressed out. P.S. That last one is so important. If you don’t read anything else on this list, read that.

17. Wisdom from Be More With Less: How to Enjoy a Digital Sabbatical and 7 Things to Do When You are Really Sad.

18. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Seeing the futility is so liberating.”

19. Zosia Mamet on Why She Won’t Lean In, Thanks.

20. May: some notes from Jeff Oaks.

21. Comedian’s Response to Criticism of Her Red Carpet Look Deserves a Standing Ovation. Her response is definitely worth the read, Sarah Millican: Twitter was a pin to my excitable Bafta balloon.

22. Sia’s “Chandelier” Has Maybe the Best Video of the Year on Slate.

23. Find your rat people from Paul Jarvis.

24. Artist Creates Intricate Mud Paintings On School Walls To Bring Art Into Villager Children Lives on Bored Panda.

25. Sabrina Ward Harrison’s Creative Space in Silver Lake, a house tour on Apartment Therapy.

26. I haven’t said so lately, but I love Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Here’s an original from her, “What You Were.”

27. Sisterhood Manifesto from Awakening Women.

sisterhoodmanifesto.jpg-page-001

28. A poem, shared by Jessica Patterson this morning.

let it go
(By e. e. cummings)

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear

so comes love

29. A Self-Made 12-Step Program for Living an Authentic Life from Rebelle Society.

30. What Makes you Happy? from Aarathi Selvan, “what I asked some of the fabulous bloggers, entrepreneurs and friends from around the world.”

31. Things You Say To Dogs That’d Be Creepy If You Said To People from BuzzFeed.

Day of Rest

My friend Laurie Wagner shared a poem on Facebook this morning that was just what I needed to hear. It’s by Alison Luterman, who will be doing a reading today at Laurie’s magical home, 27 Powers. I have been thinking a lot about resistance and how it leads to suffering, how often I get in my own way, how there are hard things in my life but I’m making them so much harder, making them solid by wishing them away, wanting things to be easy. The worry around it, the discomfort feels like a sort of heartburn. I start by attaching to whatever I think is causing my problem(s), then I immediately look for who to blame, always eventually landing on myself. It’s such a painful way to be. Alison’s beautiful poem reminds me to not get so attached, to let go, to surrender to what is.

Because Even the Word Obstacle is an Obstacle
Try to love everything that gets in your way:
the Chinese women in flowered bathing caps
murmuring together in Mandarin, doing leg exercises in your lane
while you execute thirty-six furious laps,
one for every item on your to-do list.
The heavy-bellied man who goes thrashing through the water
like a horse with a harpoon stuck in its side,
whose breathless tsunamis rock you from your course.
Teachers all. Learn to be small
and swim through obstacles like a minnow
without grudges or memory. Dart
toward your goal, sperm to egg. Thinking Obstacle
is another obstacle. Try to love the teenage girl
idly lounging against the ladder, showing off her new tattoo:
Cette vie est la mienne, This life is mine,
in thick blue-black letters on her ivory instep.
Be glad shell have that to look at all her life,
and keep going, keep going. Swim by an uncle
in the lane next to yours who is teaching his nephew
how to hold his breath underwater,
even though kids arent allowed at this hour. Someday,
years from now, this boy
who is kicking and flailing in the exact place
you want to touch and turn
will be a young man, at a wedding on a boat
raising his champagne glass in a toast
when a huge wave hits, washing everyone overboard.
He’ll come up coughing and spitting like he is now,
but he’ll come up like a cork,
alive. So your moment
of impatience must bow in service to a larger story,
because if something is in your way it is
going your way, the way
of all beings; towards darkness, towards light.

The obstacles to your path are the path. Let go, surrender.

Blog Hop

27powersmorningWhen my dear friend Laurie asked me to take part in this blog hop — to answer four questions about writing, publish my responses a week after she published hers, invite three other bloggers to follow me (this part didn’t go exactly as expected — I ended up with one instead, too late to invite two more, but the one really is a good one, so there’s that), bloggers who would then invite three more bloggers, and so on and so on — I immediately said yes. I was curious to see how I’d answer the questions, what I might learn from the exercise. I also would say yes to just about anything Laurie asked me to do. I’m crazy about her like that.

Last fall, I took three trips to 27 Powers, Laurie’s home, a magical retreat in Alameda, CA. By way of the time I spent there, and with Laurie’s guidance (along with that of Jennifer Louden, Andrea Scher, and Rachel Cole, and in the company of other amazing and brave women who joined me there), I found my way back to myself, made my way home. I took my seat at the table, joined a long lineage of creative women, belonged.

bycarolyneicher1. What am I working on/writing?

Morning pages, my daily writing practice. Blogging, always blogging. An ebook about self-compassion, which is a compilation of my story and the wisdom of the women who took part in my Self-Compassion Saturday series.  A memoir about how I saved myself through the practices of writing, yoga, meditation, and dog. And a few other short pieces, always a few stragglers and loose ends, collecting like dust bunnies under my writing desk.

2. How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know how “different” my work is, other than the fact that everything I write has been filtered first through my own experience, is colored by my particular view, and in that way is unlike anyone else’s. For example, I write about grief and loss, but I get there by way of losing two of my dogs to cancer, through falling to my knees in the weeds of my flowerbed on the day before my friend Kelly died, shoving my hands into the dirt in the only prayer I could offer.

I write a lot about practice, struggle and transformation. I mix self-help with memoir, and I like to think my phrasing and word choices can at times be almost graceful while still being dirty and true, but mostly I try to communicate how messy but also brilliant it is to be human, to offer a map for others trying to find their way. Rather than trying to be different, I aspire to write as honestly as someone like Anne Lamott and as beautifully as someone like Christina Rosalie.

3. Why do I write what I do?

For the same reason I do almost everything: to ease suffering, in myself and in the world. I write first to help myself, to find understanding and clarity, to transform, to heal. Then I offer what I think might help others do the same. Hopefully what I write can make us feel less alone, encourage us, keep us from giving up.

4. How does my writing process work?

First of all, it’s a daily practice. I show up, no matter what, and I write. I get up by 5 a.m. every morning, let the puppy out, go to the bathroom, make a cup of coffee, sit down and write. Every day starts like this. As I write — getting down all the details of the day before, getting rid of all the garbage floating around in my head — ideas for other things come up. I write as much as I can to give myself a start, so I can come back to it later. Sometimes I get lucky and my morning pages are something almost completely formed. All I need to do is type it up, make a few edits, and send it off or publish it.

It’s that kind of ease practice gives me. I start to see things as I move through my day that will become blog posts or essays or part of a book. I don’t just write differently because of practice, the way I see my life, my experience, has been transformed. The writer is always watching, making meaning and seeing patterns, working to understand.

I blog pretty regularly, so I’m usually either starting a post or finishing and publishing one, (although not quite so much lately, what with yoga teacher training and a new puppy). Some of my posts run on a schedule, so all I have to do is show up and do that thing I do, and others spontaneously arise, insist on being written. Bigger writing projects seem to either be a flash that burns bright and fast and I just need to keep up, or slow moving, requiring endurance and my patience.

Essential to my writing process is reading. A bad habit I picked up in graduate school is that I’m usually reading at least six books at a time. I just started Dani Shapiro’s Still Writing and Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work. I also read a lot on the web, blogs and articles. Reading feeds me, gives me pleasure, but it also teaches and guides me, fuels and informs my own writing.

I carry a notebook and pen everywhere, always ready to write something down, capture it when it comes to me.  I also moodle as part of my process. Brenda Ueland insisted that imagination needs moodling, which she described as “long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering.” To write, I need some portion of my time spent daydreaming, staring at my toes, doing nothing.

Finally, my other practices (yoga, meditation, and dog) are inextricably linked to my writing process. Moving my body through a series of yoga poses, training my mind and making friends with myself on my meditation cushion, and taking daily long walks with my dogs all allow me to crawl inside myself, be still and write.


My fellow blog hoppers;

Laurie Wagner is a writer and writing teacher. She teaches Wild Writing at her home in Northern California + hosts the 27 Powers Traveling Writers Series, which brings the brightest, grooviest, most unusual writers to Alameda to teach. Her books include, Living Happily Ever After: Couples Learn about Longtime Love, and Expectations: 30 Women Talk about Becoming a Mother, both from Chronicle Books. Her essays have appeared in Salon, Glamour, Brain, Child + The Berkeley Monthly. She blogs at 27 Powers Writing True Life.

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Justine Taormino is an INFJ and a Pisces with moon in Scorpio – dualities, emotions and intuition are her jam. Warm, empathetic and resourceful, Justine worships the world through feelings and deep conversation. She is interested in experiences – how people anticipate, dream of, live through, enjoy and reflect on their daily lives. In 2010, after struggling with years of anxiety, pressure and whole lot of “shoulds,” she got herself a therapist. This is also when she began her blog, Allowing Myself, adopted a dog, bought a beach cruiser and began falling in love with her “one precious life.” She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and best-dog-ever Carter Cash. The most recent quote to break her heart is by Ram Dass: “We’re all just walking each other home.” You can find her on Instagram @jtaormino21 and Twitter @jtaormino.

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Something Good

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image by Eric

1. Loyal dog won’t forget his best friend on Dog Heirs. *sob*

2. House Rule: In These Bodies We Dance from Brittany, Herself. I love the picture at the end. This is what joy looks like.

3. mary jo hoffman :: still from Lisa Congdon. So beautiful.

4. Meet Darcy, The Most Famous (Flying) Hedgehog On Instagram from Bored Panda. So cute.

5. 27 Days: Writing Prompts to Grow Your Powers, for FREE! Here’s an excellent gift you can give YOURSELF for the holidays, 27 Days: Writing Prompts to Grow Your Powers, Laurie Wagner’s 27 Day writing prompt program delivered daily to your inbox. It’s a simple way to keep your writing practice alive during the holidays, and an excellent opportunity to start a practice if you don’t have one. You’re welcome.

6. Architect Bypasses Mortgage Payments, Builds a Tiny Home on My Modern Met. My obsession with tiny houses is not that I want to live in one, (my house is only a little over 1000 square feet, so I’m in a pretty small space already), but that I want something like this in my backyard, to use as a studio, class, guest space.

ericmoonoverriver7. 9 ways to cope with loss during the holidays from Positively Present.

8. Maybe there is really only ONE story in life – the story of learning to be real on Unabashedly Female. (P.S. I haven’t watched the video at the end).

9. How ‘hygge’ can help you get through winter.

10. Mom’s memory lives on in sweet dad, daughter photos.

11. ‘Tis The Season To Be… Mindful on Huffington Post.

12. From Patti Digh: your daily rock : go forward and your daily rock : tell it like it is and your daily rock : burn those jeans! and your daily rock : live like you are dying.

13. Nathan loves Bella….(sweet little boy loving a special pitbull), a CNN iReport.

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image by Eric

14. what if girls were rewarded for being authentic instead of being thin? from Justine Musk.

15. Indoor S’mores on Dessert for Two. Oh my…

16. ‘Christmas Jammies’ Rockets Holderness Family To Viral Video Fame on Huffington Post.

17. 139. BRENÉ BROWN: The Woman in the Arena from Zen Pencils.

18. Magical Photographs Follow the Lives and Friendship of Two Argentine Girls on Feature Shoot.

19. What I’ve Been Reading: 2013, a great list from Marianne Elliott.

20. The Daring Interview Series: Meet Elizabeth Gilbert from Brene’ Brown.

21. When is the best time to create? from Paul Jarvis.

22. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Ways To Scare Your Friends & Family Away From Yoga (Funny) and Want To Find Your Purpose But Have No Idea What It Is? Read This.

23. Stuff to think about from Austin Kleon: On the “death” of blogging and Forget setting goals and commit to a process.

image by Eric

image by Eric

24. The Year’s Best Books on Writing and Creativity from Brain Pickings.

25. Gift to the Soul: The Space of Presence, Tara Brach on Huffington Post, in which she says,

When we’re speeding along, we violate our own natural rhythms in a way that prevents us from listening to our inner life and being in a resonant field with others. We get tight. We get small. We override our capacity to appreciate beauty, to celebrate, to serve from the heart.

26. Want To Quit Blogging? Read This First! from Gala Darling, in which she says,

A blog isn’t just a blog: it is a chronicle of your life, and just like your soul, it is constantly evolving.

27. Short answers to big questions from Alexandra Franzen.

28. 10 Artists You Should Have Known In 2013 from NPR.

29. 5 Lies You Were Told about Grief and A Self-Made 12-Step Program for Living an Authentic Life from Rebelle Society.

image by Eric

image by Eric

30. Wisdom from Kris Carr on Facebook,

Fear contains powerful messages. When we’re courageous enough to be with what scares us, we can awaken our intuition and create a new path for healing. Whether you’re worried about getting sick, you’re currently dealing with a health issue, or you’re scared and struggling in other areas of your life, don’t judge your fears, invite them to tea.

It’s common to belittle our fears and try to pre-maturely cleanse them away. But just because we’re afraid, doesn’t mean we’re toxic or failing or falling off the spiritual wagon. Fear is one of the many colors in our emotional palette, and it’s often there for a reason. There’s nothing weak or less evolved about being frightened. And guess what, you’re not alone. We’re all scared. No one is fearless.

31. Wisdom from Rumi,

Be crumbled.
So wild flowers will come up where you are.
You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.
Surrender.

32. Family Gatherings: The Ultimate Mindfulness Training Ground from Zen Habits.

image by Eric

image by Eric

33. Me, the universe, and Javier Bardem from Judy Clement Wall.

34. 3 Ways to Prepare for Career Change on Create as Folk.

35. All feelings are mutual on Superhero Life.

36. 15 Best Photos of the Day of 2013 on Tree Hugger.

37. Wisdom from Rilke,

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.

38. Teachers, writers, speakers: On confidence and owning your true authority from Susan Piver.

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image by Eric

39. Wisdom from Cheryl Strayed,

Nobody’s going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things have befallen you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.

40. 34 Examples of Installation Art That Don’t Suck on Your Daily Media.

41. How to Visit Your Family Without Going Crazy on Purple Clover, which shares these quotes,

“How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?” asks Stanley Kunitz in a poem.

and

Thomas Merton, the great Benedictine monk, captured this paradox succinctly. “Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and heart has turned to stone,” he wrote.

42. An Elderly Couple Took The Same Photo Every Season. But Nothing Could Prepare Me For The Last One on Viral Nova.

image by Eric

image by Eric

43. 8 Ways to Encourage a Meaningful New Year on Be More With Less.

44. In Marriage, Beware of Big Boxes on Modern Love from The New York Times.

45. Fortyhood: Why You’re Too Old to Have a Baby After 40 on Huffington Post.

46. Wisdom from Roy L. Smith, “He who has not Christmas in his heart
will never find it under a tree.”

47. friday’s confession: I’m slowing down. from Tiffany Han.

48. Belka (Alaskan Malamute/Siberian Husky), our 20 day old pup howling.

49. Shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list: Life from One Foot Up by Derek (which made me realize Fray is back online), and Quinoa & Brussels Sprout Salad recipe, and Favorite Job Interview Questions, and this video, ‘Female Freedom Has an Expiration Date’ – Being 35 and Single,

50. This Post Secret card.

51. The Answer to All Your Questions…the First Four Words You See Describe You on Elephant Journal. My words were passionate, peaceful, thoughtful, and genuine.

52. 10 Things You Can’t Do AT CHRISTMAS While Following Jesus and 10 Things You Can’t Do While Following Jesus from The God Article.

53. What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter from In the Parlor, which says,

So whatever you believe about homosexuality, keep it to yourself. Instead, try telling a gay kid that you love him and you don’t want him to die. Try inviting her into your church and into your home and into your life. Anything other than that simply doesn’t matter.

54. Homage To Rae Kline, My First Yoga Teacher on Recovering the Body.

55. A Bundle of Joy and Peace: 21 Inspiring Quotations from Thich Nhat Hahn from Always Well Within.

56. Wisdom from Sakyong Mipham, “Open hearts, kindness, and care – these are our most precious gifts.”

57. More wisdom from Rumi, “Don’t think the garden looses it’s ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”

image by Eric

image by Eric

58. iPersonic Personality Test. My result was “The Good-natured Realist” which was pretty accurate.

59. 10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For.

60. I Don’t Know Where The Rich People Are Who Lived Here, But What They Left Behind Is Frightening on Viral Nova.

61. Heartwarming Photos of SF Zoo’s New Baby Gorilla and Her Doting Grandmother from The Modern Met. There is almost nothing cuter than a baby gorilla.

62. 12 Easy Ways to Make Life Simple Again from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

63. “In an abundance of caution” from Seth Godin.

64. Truthbomb from Danielle Laporte, “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”

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image by Eric