Category Archives: Alexandra Franzen

Something Good

pumpkinSo great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. The homeless man who turned his life around by offering book reviews instead of begging. “You don’t have to be rich to save the world,” Philani Dladla, The Pavement Bookworm. The foundation he started is really cool.

2. Students protesting Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home”: How clinging to “Christian moral beliefs” can end an education before it even begins on Salon. “Liking is not learning, of course — and learning is not always comfortable.” And in related news, Alison Bechdel Would Like You to Call It the “Bechdel-Wallace Test,” ThankYouVeryMuch.

3. A Question of Prosperity from Meghan Genge in which she considers what it means to feel prosperous.

4. Open Letter to Native College Students.

5. It’s Not Just ODU Students Putting Up Offensive Signs About Freshman Girls. Not something good so much as something you should know about. I wonder what the parents of these young men think about this? What do their mothers think?

6. Why America Needs a Slavery Museum. I’m still surprised there is currently only one.

7. Modern ‘train-nomad’ chooses to live on trains instead of renting. In related news, I secretly lived in my office for 500 days.

8. Hurricane Katrina happened ten years ago. It’s just as devastating ten years out. These Are The Forgotten Images Of Hurricane Katrina, and The 85 Most Powerful Hurricane Katrina Images, and This American Life 565: Lower 9 + 10, and 10 Years After Katrina.

9. 10 Successful Entrepreneurs on the Worst Advice They Ever Received.

10. 100 Cameras Were Given To Homeless In London And The Result Left Everyone Speechless.

11. 30 Reasons Why I Write by Jon Westenberg. Things like, “There’s no despair that can’t be held at bay with words,” and “My writing is my own roadmap – it helps me find my way.”

12. why dinner was late last night from SouleMama. It’s a beautiful reason.

13. I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago.

14. The Greatest Commencement Addresses of All Time on Brain Pickings. I know it’s not the right season for this as most students are just going back to school not graduating, but if you want some serious inspiration this is the place.

15. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

If you want to know real freedom, you must learn forgiveness. That doesn’t mean collapsing boundaries or giving up or giving in. It doesn’t mean going back. It doesn’t mean absolution or sweeping things under the rug. It means you let go of grasping–and that which has a grip on you. It means reclaiming your own inner sanctuary and ushering out what’s crowding your space. Let go of the need to be right, to be in control, to be understood, to be certain. Let go of what has distracted you from the grace of each moment–your birthright, your presence.

16. No, I Am Not Crowdfunding This Baby (an open letter to a worried fan) by Amanda Palmer, a beautiful contemplation of the tenderness and terror of being a mother and an artist.

17. Boy, 13, Keeps Father Alive After He’s Badly Hurt by Falling Boulder. May we all have someone like this to help when we need it.

18. Brave Girl University is open for enrollment. It is “a one-stop gathering place for learning, growing and becoming, through hundreds of classes taught by dedicated teachers who offer soulful ways to make life better, happier and more authentic for every woman. From painting to gardening to meditation to relationships and much more. . . access it ALL for just $24.95 per month.” I’ve taken classes with many of these teachers, and am amazed by what a good deal this is.

19. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: What If I’m Not Happy With My Weight, and George Takei and Why I Can’t Take a Joke, and Telling Truth to Power.

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

If something isn’t getting you closer to your heart’s most precious goals, if it isn’t making your most important relationships stronger and more valued, if it is not helping you grow and making your heart sing, maybe it’s time to think about letting it go.

If you will listen very very very closely, you will know for sure what to hold on to…and what to let go…and where to spend your precious minutes and energies.

And this,

You know SO much more than you think you know. Each of us was born with a lovely inner compass…it’s there to guide us. We must tune out almost every voice around us to be able to focus on what this inner voice tells us is true for our own lives.

Please don’t give any heed at all to the useless opinions of others, beautiful friend. Act for yourself. Face your own truths…then act on your own truths. Plug your ears when there are annoying, loud, negative voices that have no business giving you opinions about your own life. Turn off the confusing lies, and be brave enough to tune in to that inner voice that speaks your truth. Those feelings in your gut are your deepest wisdom, and you will recognize the voice of truth by the warm and peaceful feelings it brings.

21. 7 Simple Ways to Soothe Your Soul from Be More With Less. “Sometimes your soul needs time to just hang out with your heart, and your truth.”

22. I Had a Baby and Cancer When I Worked at Amazon. This Is My Story.

23. The Monk Manifesto: Seven Principles for Living with Deep Intention. I had never heard of this before Erica Staab posted about it on her blog. It is “a public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.” I think if one were to live according to this manifesto, they would be ridiculously happy, completely content. Or maybe that’s just me.

24. 85 Percent of What We Worry About Never Happens. I heard once that “worrying is like praying for what we don’t want to happen.” This article gives yet another reason why worry is wasted.

25. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s newsletter: I’ve Spent A Lifetime Building a Mighty Network. Here Are My Secrets., and Marshall McLuhan on writing, and The Steal Like An Artist Journal (I want).

26. Sarah Silverman just life-coached everyone who’s felt undeserving. Such a cool perspective. (video)

27. Write Anyway: October, a workshop with Janelle Hanchett. Sometime I really want to do one of these.

28. Good stuff Alexandra Franzen shared in her newsletter: The “Grocery List” Method To Writing Your Bio. (So Easy. For Real.), and Ask Alex & Ellen: I got rejected and now I want to give up. How can I get motivated again?, and What Does The World Need More Of In Order To Heal?, and a podcast interview Alexandra Franzen on Changing with Grace and How To Be More Intentional With Your Time.

29. Shared on Positively Present Picks: Living Your Dreams Will Piss People Off. Do It Anyway., and this quote from Oprah Winfrey, “I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.”

30. Good stuff from Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: The unconscious quality of judgment. And Mötley Crüe, and Annapurna Woman Susannah Conway, (this whole interview series is really great), The Pep Talk Generator, and Things That Will Happen If I Don’t Take My Phone Out Right Now, and Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Lisa Congdon on Passion Projects.

31. Wisdom from Aimée Reed, by way of The Pep Talk Generator mentioned above,

“Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing” — Cormac McCarthy. We all have to do things we don’t like in pursuit of our goals and dreams. However, if you are doing something that doesn’t directly correlate to you achieving them, then stop. Immediately. In reality, we have but a minute on this earth. Work, live, take chances, love, eat, argue, make mistakes, fight, and screw like you have 30 seconds left on the stopwatch.

32. Where Children Sleep, a photo series from James Mollison, “stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms.”

33. When Doing Yoga by Yourself from Bad Yogi.

34. 8 Things I Learned from 10 Months Unplugged on Elephant Journal.

35. Veruca Salt has a new album coming out.

36. Fundraising page for one of my favorite bears who’ll be doing the Out of the Darkness Walk, raising money for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

37. Brene Brown on embracing failure, setting boundaries and living through grief: “It is an act of compassion to love yourself.”

38. 4 Questions that Will Change Your Attitude (When You Can’t Change Anything Else) from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

39. On The Subject Of Your Discouragement on Terrible Minds.

40. Viral Photo Of Syrian Refugee Prompts Strangers To Give Him ‘A New Life.’

Something Good

sidedoorcafe1. Wisdom from Debora Smail, “To make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” (Thanks to Karen for sharing).

2. The great PBS NewsHour work-life balance experiment.

3. Nina Simone’s Daughter Says New Documentary About Her Mother Gets It Right.

4. EXCLUSIVE: Bree Newsome Speaks For The First Time After Courageous Act of Civil Disobedience.

5. 5 Genius Gadgets From Japanese Bathrooms That Americans Should Borrow.

6. An Evangelical Pastor At His First Pride Parade.

7. I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.

8. I get food stamps, and I’m not ashamed — I’m angry.

9. Here Are 4 Ways to Navigate Whiteness and Feminism – Without Being a White Feminist (TM).

10. This Flow Chart That Destroys Religion’s Case Against Gay Marriage Is So Easy, Any Zealot Can Use It.

11. ‘Elder: A Mormon Love Story.’

12. Not a Civil Debate.

13. Keep It Simple Book Review on decor8.

14. Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours.

15. How Bestselling Author Austin Kleon Writes, Part One. Austin shared Part Two on his blog.

16. How #AskELJames totally backfired on the ‘Fifty Shades’ author.

17. Truthbomb #832 from Danielle LaPorte, “Your scars are someone else’s signs of hope.”

18. Growing up from Tara Sophia Mohr.

19. How a Devastating Diagnosis Taught me How to Really Live and How to Engage in Social Media without Losing Your Mind and The World is Waiting For You (put it on your to-do list) from Be More With Less.

20. Epilogue: Gussy’s Gone from Sara Seinberg. Because this, “And I lived.”

21. Noisli. “Improve focus and boost your productivity. Mix different sounds and create your perfect environment.”

22. “Spoken word artist Sarah Kay explores time and place in our premiere of #BriefButSpectacular – NewsHour’s new Facebook-first series that every Thursday morning brings you snippets of insight from today’s artists, leaders and thinkers.”

23. Eating Disorder Recovery Advocacy Is Usually Fatphobic – Here Are 4 Ways to Start Fixing That.

24. Good things worth funding: Scott Carver’s Bucket List Fund, and IF WE LEFT: A True Story Movie, and Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant, and Cosette & Henri – A Tale of Two Puppy Mill Dogs, and Robert Davis Memorial fund, and Journey to Heal.

25. This Tumblr Is Exposing Hollywood’s Problem With People Of Colour.

26. Accepting my Sensitivity Healed my Emotional Eating.

26. The Most Adorable and Awesome Sci-Fi Love Story Ever: The One-Minute Time Machine [Video]

27. Wisdom from Thomas Merton, (shared by Susan Piver), “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”

28. The Dalai Lama: A Model of Someone Who Has Lost A Lot.

29. Did This Woman Witness The Worst Date Ever?

30. The Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations, explained.

31. She Was Told She Shouldn’t Be Wearing A Bikini. Her Response? AMAZING!

32. FIFA is giving the U.S. $2 million for its World Cup win. It gave Germany $35 million in 2014.

33. Rashida Jones On Being Sex-Positive But Still Challenging The Porn Industry.

34. See the Photo That Inspired the Internet to Rally Around a Gay Youth. A ‘Humans of New York’ post generated a flood of positive messages, including one from Hillary Clinton.

35. There are 6 Scriptures about homosexuality in the Bible. Here’s what they really say. P.S. All references to homosexuality are in the Old Testament. Jesus never said one word about it, unless you count “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

36. How ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Misrepresents Women’s Federal Prison (And Why It Matters).

37. Hot and Bothered. Air conditioning isn’t bad for you or even (relatively) for the planet.

38. The art of storytelling, according to the founders of StoryCorps and Humans of New York.

39. The Aftermath Of Bill Cosby’s Admission? That’s Rape Culture.

40. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh, (a PDF).

41. Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses. I love tiny houses and the people who live in them, but this made me giggle.

42. Kitten Wasn’t Going To Survive … Until She Met Her Dog Mom.

43. Be a Great Ally to Fat Folks by Getting Neutral about Food.

44. This Adorable Girl Trying To Hula Hoop Failed So Hard She Won. I wish this video were so much longer.

45. It’s Still Me…Only Sadder.

46. David Letterman Goes Top 10 on Donald Trump.

47. The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New.

48. Anti-Courage, my old friend from Kirsten Akens.

49. Do you know what you are committing to? from Life is Limitless.

50. 25 Lessons When You’re Ready for a Simpler Life and 7 Things You Gain When You Let Go of Control from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

51. Revolt against the desk.

52. Good stuff shared by Alexandra Franzen: How I met the love of my life. (A true story about what happens when you say what is true.), and 14 Newsletters You Need in Your Inbox, and What to do when a friend is grieving — and you don’t know how to help, and How to get “back on track” with a goal when you’re backsliding, hard.

53. What If Schools Hired Dogs As Therapists? A school in San Diego uses a “facility dog” to offer children a kind of healing that humans sometimes cannot provide.

54. I, Racist.

55. 6 Things to Know About How to Get Out of Funk Town on Zen Habits.

56. Shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: What Is Privilege?, and Dad And Daughter Face Off In Epic Beatboxing Battle, If Male Actors Were Described The Way Female Actors Are, and Five beautiful things Danny Gregory saw today.

57. Before You Can Write a Book, You Have to Do THIS First…

58. Good stuff from {Peacefulinks #12}: Idea to Awesome: How Jennifer Louden Created Her Online “Life Navigation Course”, and Visual Thesaurus.

59. Found it, doing it: still me from Kat McNally.

60. New music: (shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list), Oh Wonder.

Something Good

deadmanroaderic06

Dead Man Road, image by Eric

1. Please help Amy keep her belongings. Like I told Amy, every time I’m able to give, to help, my hope is that if I ever find myself in a similar situation, someone will reach their hand out to me. As Ram Dass says, “we are all just walking each other home.” If a lot of people give just a little, Amy won’t lose her things.

2. Green Juice Will Not Cure Your Cancer.

3. Second graders line up to get yearbook signed by janitor.

4. mother. nature. from Pia Jane Bijkerk.

5. Frankly Speaking: How I Found Purpose.

6. Free week of Daily Dharma Gathering. “The free one-week trial of the Daily Dharma Gathering goes live June 15-21! This is daily online live meditation sessions with some of the world’s most accomplished Buddhist teachers.”

7. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Want to be an artist? Watch Groundhog Day, (which just so happens to be one of my favorite movies), and How to graciously say no to anyone.

8. In ‘Eating Lab,’ A Psychologist Spills Secrets On Why Diets Fail.

9. Before You Dismiss the Concept of Thin Privilege, First Ask Yourself These 4 Questions.

10. GLAAD responds.

11. The Moral Bucket List.

12. On Love from Lisa Congdon.

13. The Parting of the Veils from Laurie Wagner.

14. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: curiously strong, and 10,000 hours, and this shared on her this was a good week list,

15. Here’s How To Plan A Week Of Healthy Snacks on BuzzFeed. The two recipes I want to try are the 3 Ingredient No Bake Peanut Butter Oat Squares and the Crispy Kale Chips.

16. David Sedaris Talks About Surviving the Suicide of a Sibling.

17. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide (Robyn Sherwell Cover). I’m a sucker for every version of this song.

18. Good stuff on Lion’s Roar: Dharma gates are everywhere, says Melissa Blacker and A Day in the Life of the Dalai Lama.

19. A Brief Guide to Kick-Starting Your Memoir — Part 3: Where to Begin.

20. Dogs Steal the Show in This Time-Lapse Pregnancy Video.

21. Watch The Broadway Casts Of “The Lion King” And “Aladdin” In “Pitch Perfect”-Style Airport Sing-Off.

22. Amy Schumer: ‘I’m 160 Pounds, and I Can Catch a Dick Whenever I Want.’

23. A Letter from My Heart to Yours: Why Feminism Matters by Julie Daley.

24. After viral Caitlyn Jenner post, Salem man reconsiders — and sees some irony.

25. Wisdom from Bill Murray, “The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”

26. Artist Hand-Cuts Insanely Intricate Paper Art From Single Sheets Of Paper.

27. Begin it now, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

28. The Long Goodbye: Angelo Merendino photographed his parents waving farewell every time he left home.

29. The Perfect Thing My Doctor Said About My Life With Chronic Illness.

30. How Long You Can Freeze Everything, In One Chart.

31. saltine crack ice cream sandwiches recipe.

32. Parks & Recreation Final Gag Reel with Season 7 Gag Reel/Bloopers & Final Behind The Scenes Clips.

33. I Went Paleo and Now I Hate Everything.

34. Luscious Legacy Project Living Room Tour. “A gathering. A writing circle. A community of story keepers and recipe collectors daughters and wives and mothers.”

35. The Morning After: Then and Now.

36. Wisdom from Brave Girls’ Club:

Dear Insightful Girl, You already know the answers to the questions that are eating away at you…you just have to trust yourself enough to really listen and be brave with your decisions. You know oh-so-much-more than you give yourself credit for. You have a good heart and powerful intuition and you really do know the right way to go… That doesn’t mean it’s always the easiest way to go…but the easiest path never was the most fruitful path….and you are one of the courageous souls who seeks the best fruit. Trust your gut…it has never led you astray.

37. Losing Amy: The heartbreaking loss of my sister to mental illness.

38. Blah, blah, blah from Seth Godin. Such good advice.

39. Truthbomb #814 from Danielle LaPorte, “Make space in your life for the inevitable arrival of what you want.”

40. Modifications for Garudasana (eagle pose) in a larger body from Body Positive Yoga.

41. The Life-Changing Magic of Losing Shit.

42. Chapter 20: Happy New Year.

43. Unsplash Free Photos. What a great resource.

44. 8 Things to Remember When Your Relationship Gets Rough from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

45. The Moment I Learned To Live And Love In The Now.

46. Joy Williams on The Civil Wars and Her New Album, VENUS.

47. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

When someone harms us, they create the cause of their own suffering. They do this by strengthening habits that imprison them in a cycle of pain and confusion. It’s not that we are responsible for what someone else does, and certainly not that we should feel guilty. But when they harm us, we unintentionally become the means of their undoing. Had they looked on us with loving-kindness, however, we’d be the cause of their gathering virtue.

What I find helpful in this teaching is that what’s true for them is also true for me. The way I regard those who hurt me today will affect how I experience the world in the future. In any encounter, we have a choice: we can strengthen our resentment or our understanding and empathy. We can widen the gap between ourselves and others or lessen it.

48. Your Most Frequently Asked Writing Questions, Answered! from Terrible Minds.

49. You Never Really Know What Others Are Going Through. The only thing I feel like I need to add here is that there’s no reason for the people who said they wanted to travel or get a job as a journalist in New York, etc., to feel bad about the things they want in light of the suffering of another. We all have the right to our particular experience. Even when others are suffering, we have the right to joy. We don’t have to be blind to or untouched by suffering to experience joy. There’s room for both, and it doesn’t have to be either/or.

50. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: The six types of motivation and The power of “I am.”

51. Wisdom from Friar Richard Rohr, (thanks to Christine Claire Reed for sharing),

Once we see truly what is trapping us and keeping us from freedom we should see the need to let it go. But in a consumer society most of us have had no training in that direction. Rather, more is supposed to be better. True liberation is letting go of our false self, letting go of our cultural biases, and letting go of our fear of loss and death. Freedom is letting go of wanting more and better things, and it is letting go of our need to control and manipulate God and others. It is even letting go of our need to know and our need to be right–which we only discover with maturity. We become free as we let go of our three primary energy centers: our need for power and control, our need for safety and security, and our need for affection and esteem.

52. Harlem Students Cultivate Emotional Intelligence, Lead Each Other in Meditation.

53. Why healthy eating may be the new eating disorder: Raw food and paleo dieters ‘at risk of a dangerous obsession with nutrition.’

54. The Daily Practice.

55. Yes, You Can Have That (Finding My Way Home to My Spirit) from Mara Glatzel.

Something Good

dragoncloudswirl1. The do over from Seth Godin.

2. Living Tiny by Emily Harger on Narratively.

3. 6 Free Writing Podcasts.

4. Stephen Colbert, Tim Cook, George W. Bush crack jokes for Class of 2015.

5. Body image hero Brittany Gibbons gives us her formula for self-love.

6. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club:

Dear Courageous Girl,

The hardest decisions in life are the decisions that start with two good answers. Choosing between two or more good things is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do.

This is what sacrifice is. This is where the richest rewards are, because we are not REALLY choosing between what is good and what is good. We are choosing between what is good and what is BEST for our lives.

Stay where the BEST things area, even if you have to walk away from some really good things once in a while. And never forget that the simple, small things in life are very often the best — better than the shiny, fancy, and ‘popular’ things; and that it’s completely okay to walk away from everything that the world tells you will bring you happiness, and towards small, simple, and good things that others usually just walk right past. That’s where the magic is, friends.

Choose the best for YOU.

You are beloved.

xoxo

7. Wisdom from Tara Brach,

Grieving loss consciously is at the center of the spiritual path. In small and great ways, each of our losses links us to what we love. It is natural that we will seek to manage the pain of separation in whatever way we can. Yet as we awaken, we can allow our sorrow to remain faithful to itself. We can willingly surrender into the grieving. By honoring what has passed away, we are free to love the life that is here.

8. Grief is Hard Work from Kira Elliott.

9. This Man Filmed His Dog Every Day. The Reason? You’ll Be Heartbroken. We don’t know how long any of them, any of us will live. We should love each other like this all the time.

10. Practice: Embodying Your Curvy + Beloved Body. The next session starts June 8th.

11. Nonconformity and the Creative Life from Shots of Awe.

12. Women Turn Tables on Online Harassers.

13. These 25 Examples of Male Privilege from a Trans Guy’s Perspective Really Prove the Point.

14. More good stuff from Justine, on her blog Allowing Myself (which you should be reading!): Just Give In and Nap, and Travel Journal, and Day In The Life, and Bathroom Cabinet Magic.

15. Amy Schumer Takes On The Bill Cosby Sex Scandal On ‘Inside Amy Schumer.’ Oh, snap!

16. Garlic Roasted Broccoli recipe. Roasted vegetables are my favorite.

17. Surviving an Alcoholic.

18. 30 Days Of My Baby Bunnies Growing Up on Bored Panda.

19. This not so perfect life from Aubrey’s Baby Weigel blog.

20. Compassion is true communication. One of the most beautiful videos, with such an important message.

21. A Prominent Yogi on Fat Yoga, Instagram, and Changing Stereotypes.

22. The Small, Happy Life.

23. It’s Always a Good Time for Child’s Pose on Wanderlust.

24. Hanging by a Thread by Elizabeth Aquino.

25. Let’s Celebrate the Art of Clutter.

26. 10 Composition Tips with Award Winning Photographer Steve McCurry.

27. 5 of the Hardest Things Yoga Taught Me.

28. my favorite buttermilk biscuits recipe.

29. My Mom Has a Question on Medium.

30. What Fat People Know Best on Dances with Fat.

31. Colleges To Students: Don’t Trash Those Dorm Castoffs! Donate!

32. The Place Where You Are on Zen Habits.

33. Good stuff from Be More With Less: 7 Places to Create Space for Ease and Clarity and Holding on for Dear Life.

34. So, I’m a Teacher Now — 10 Reflections From the First 10 Weeks on Medium.

35. This Journey called Life on Medium.

36. thrive portrait: asha on Chookooloonks. Karen’s Thrive Portrait Project is so great.

37. Truthbomb #810 from Danielle LaPorte, “Surrender isn’t about being passive. It’s about being open.”

38. Wisdom from Ernest Hemingway, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

39. Brian Dettmer’s book autopsies, shared by Austin Kleon.

40. Danny Gregory, an interview by Lisa Congdon, shared by Chookooloonks.

41. “You must give up the life you planned in order…” from Jennifer Louden.

42. Really great stuff from Alexandra Franzen: Trying is always worth it, and Keep writing the damn alphabet, and I’m not lying. It’s just that the truth has changed., and Tell me everything, and Whatever it takes.

43. Suffering Opens The Real Path by Norman Fischer.

Something Good

Lady Moon Meadow trail, image by Eric

Lady Moon Meadow Trail, image by Eric

1. The bravest thing I’ve done this year from Marianne Elliott, the first post in a series on courage that I also wrote a post for, I showed up. I opened my heart. I stayed. Marianne’s next session of 30 Days of Courage: a guide to bravery in action starts April 20th and registration is open now.

2. 15 Things Stopping You from Moving Forward from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

3. our very special houseguest on Chookooloonks. For our next dog, I want to be able to say say, “She’s [or he’s] gentle, and sweet-natured, and incredibly calm, and so easy. She’s obedient and playful, and she’s taken to our family almost seamlessly.” You know how much I’ve loved my dogs, but so far, I’ve had “it’s been so hard but I know it will be worth it,” and someday I’d really like the other version.

4. 23 Best Movies On Netflix You Haven’t Yet Seen.

5. 30 Questions You Should Ask Your Best Friend and 30 MORE Questions to Ask Your Best Friend from Hello Giggles.

6. Three Eternal (So Far) Truths about Living and Writing from On Being.

7. Artist Paints Ocean Stones With Thousands Of Tiny Dots To Create Colorful Mandalas on Bored Panda.

8. the mabel magazine either / or question: part 2, in which you can read my responses.

9. I Gotcher Blog-Writin’ Advice Right Here from Terrible Minds.

10. Wisdom from David Whyte,

Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future. To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences.

11. In memory of Anne Frank, some of her most beautiful quotes on Hello Giggles, which says this,

Anne Frank’s diary remains one of the most essential pieces of writing in existence — a 13-year-old girl’s account of the most horrifying genocide in modern history. But more than that, Anne’s diary was a beautifully-written autobiography of a brilliant young girl, full of hope, potential and bravery. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Anne’s final diary entry, and she continues to inspire us with her spirit and courage.

12. WALK THE MOON – Shut Up and Dance (Official Lyric Video). Dance break!!!

13. Heartbreaking and beautiful, we have a trailer for the Amy Winehouse documentary on Hello Giggles.

14. Teen Comes Out As Gay, His Father Reacts Angrily. Hey Dad, what would Jesus do?

15. What Would Beyonce Do?! funny stuff from comedienne Luisa Omielan.

16. Interview: Patrick Mulholland on the Broken Saviors Kickstarter.

17. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: Dealing With Oppression – That’s Not How I Would Have Done It! and Can Trader Joe’s Reduce Our Guilt Around Food?

18. Your past experiences are blinding you: How to take a step back and view the world without bias or judgement on Medium.

19. Good stuff from Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links list: The Journal Diaries- Gert’s Hobonichi and On Our Next Big Adventure and The one thing you’re most likely to regret.

20. A Note from the Universe, “For every fork in the road, Jill, there are often two paths from which to choose: the one you ‘should’ take and the one you want to take. Take the second. Always take the second.”

21. On Chookooloonks this was a good week list: Dressing up strangers as dolls: cute or ‘creepy’? – BBC World Service and Novelist Katherine Center’s philosophy on writing the story you long to read.

22. No Kids for Me, Thanks on The New York Times.

23. I Am A Plus-Size Woman Who Wore a Low-Rise Bikini to the Beach and This is What Happened on Bustle.

24. Orthorexia Nervosa: When Righteous Eating Becomes An Obsession.

25. Creating a New Cultural Story, Jennifer Louden talks with Brigid Schulte, author of the NYT’s bestseller Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, which I want to read.

26. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: How to Talk Yourself in to a Great Day at Work and Be done with what’s done. Let it burn. and Always one more time.

27. Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro | Official Trailer | Showtime Documentary.

28. Introducing “Shedquarters”: The Hot New Trend Home-Based Business Owners Are Drooling Over.

29. My Body Is Softer Now, And So Is My Heart on Rebelle Society.

30. 7 Signs You’re Getting Bad Nutrition Advice.

31. ‘Mom, When Do Grown-Ups Stop Eating Breakfast?’ on The New York Times.

Something Good

1. Bat Dad videos. He makes me laugh.

2. In the presence of perfect love from Rachael Maddox.

3. Comedian Tig Notaro continues to laugh at cancer in new Sundance documentary. I can’t wait to see this, and the article says she’s also working on a memoir.

4. Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome, a new book from my favorite president.

5. Watch: Matthieu Ricard says altruism is the solution, a new TED Talk in which “Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard offers his simple solution to climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality. The problem, he says, is selfishness, and the solution is altruism. It’s a simple — even naïve — idea, but Ricard makes a compelling case that altruism is a real, effective solution.”

6. Cosby: ‘Trust Me.’ How many women need to say this happened to them?

7. Good stuff from Patti Digh: book stack tuesday : the art of asking and balance your power.

8. Good stuff on Medium: Voluntary Mindslaughter: How learning to “Just Sit” can get you through anything, and If Someone Has All Three of These Things, Hire Them, and Wake No More.

9. Plus-size model Tess Holliday busts out of stereotype.

10. Just watch how much the "ideal" body type has changed over 3,000 years.

11. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Why sometimes it’s so difficult to be a person, and The Drama Triangle, and The End of Martyrdom.

12. 18 Hilarious Notes To Robbers.

13. Why People Hate Tess Munster (And Other Happy Fat People), brilliance from The Militant Baker.

14. Good stuff from lists and letters: strong medicine and illness: things i have learned in its shadow, and the morning after, when light breaks through the window blinds.

15. Exploding Kittens is the most backed Kickstarter project ever. He asked for $10,000, and with 17 days remaining, he’s already gotten over 5 million.

16. Interview with Wild Mama Carrie Visintainer from Laura Resau. The writing cabin! *sigh*

19. It’s how the light gets in… from The Bloggess. They break our hearts, but we keep letting them in.

20. Teacher And His Students Recreate ‘Uptown Funk,’ Get An A+ In Breakin’ It Down.

21. Good stuff on Bored Panda: I Take Personal Portraits Of Dogs, Cats And Horses, and I Found This Adorable Puppy In An Abandoned Backyard And Brought Her Home, and Artist Spent One Year In The Woods Creating Surreal Sculptures From Organic Materials.

22. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

The peace that we’re looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.

23. A Calm, Open Walk Through a Dark & Tangled Mess from Laurie Wagner.

24. Cheap easy. Quality easy. And The Myth of Endurance. from Danielle LaPorte.

25. Doubt’s Foot In Logic’s Door: Thoughts On Anti-Vaxxer Attitude from Terrible Minds.

26. Wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut, (thanks for sharing, Anna),

Be soft.
Do not let this world make you hard.
Do not let the pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be
A beautiful place.

27. Wisdom from Joanna Macy, “You don’t need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough.”

28. Reflections on Overwhelm from Lisa Congdon.

29. Alice Gregory on Finding a Uniform, shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

30. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: “How to feel miserable as an artist,” and How to stay alive, and Interview with Unmistakable Creative.

31. Truthbomb #722 from Danielle LaPorte, “Joy is an indicator of deep wellness.”

32. Beautiful natural sculptures made by balancing rocks, shared on Chookooloonks’ This Was a Good Week list.

33. Raise your hand. Say yes. with Laura Simms. Thank you, Tiffany Han for interviewing some of my favorite people. It’s like you’ve created a podcast just for me.

34. 5 Counterintuitive Money Lessons from 2014 from Laura Simms.

35. The OTHER Reason People Binge-Eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

36. 25 Meaningful Things You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less from Be More With Less.

37. A Note from the Universe, “Look to what you’re afraid of, Jill, to learn where you can grow.”

38. Sweetness on Faith Tap: Little Girl Sings Old MacDonald’s Farm and Brother and Sister Sing Hero.

39. Colleen McCullough: we’ll celebrate a woman for anything, as long as it’s not her talent. This makes me sick to my stomach.

40. Is this NASA’s best ever official portrait? Coolest astronaut sneaks his dogs into photo shoot.

41. If My Body Could Speak from Kira Elliott. Take out the part about sugar, and my body could have written this.

42. Good stuff from this week’s Positively Present Picks: The Sketchbook Project and Today is not over yet from Alexandra Franzen.

43. Meditation Physically Changes Your Brain’s Gray Matter for the Better, Study Finds.

44. Anne Lamott on How We Endure and Find Meaning in a Crazy World on Brain Pickings.

45. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook, in which she says,

But Horrible Bonnie would say, Now you get to tell it, because then it will become medicine. Tell it, girl — that we evolve; that life is stunning, wild, gorgeous, weird, brutal, hilarious and full of grace. That our parents were a bit insane, and that healing from this is taking a little bit longer than we had hoped. Tell it.

46. 10 Powerful Ideas that Will Change the Way You Work from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

47. for the love of it on Chookooloonks.

48. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: What are you capable of giving? and Your life is a hot date. Show up.

49. Feed Your Soul from Geneen Roth.

50. On Being podcast, Brené Brown — The Courage to Be Vulnerable.

51. Day Jobs & Creative Entrepreneurship from Jamie Ridler.

52. Beijing life in a shipping container.

53. How I Learned to Love Shopping as a Plus-Size Woman with Mary Lambert.

54. Jimmy Fallon Has A Lip Sync Battle With Will Ferrell & Kevin Hart.

55. Evolution is Exhausting. But You Totally Got This. from Meg Worden.

Something Good

1. The Daily Dharma Gathering from the Open Heart Project. Susan says, “Together with Buddhist teacher and awesome guy Lodro Rinzler, I’m pleased to announce a new program: three months of live meditation sessions Tuesdays – Sundays with some of the most accomplished and wise dharma teachers in the world.”

2. A Beautiful (and Budget-Friendly!) Laundry Room Makeover. As a person who keeps myself too busy, and an introvert who doesn’t have many people over to my house, most of my spaces look more like the before picture. What I like so much about this though is that it makes it so clear that if you put forth just a little effort, you can have a beautiful space. I’d like to be better about that.

3. The Struggle Is Real from Baby Weigel. I’m not a mom, but I love what Aubrey has to say here about the difficult choices we have to make sometimes about the things we love and what we do, how we spend our time. May she have an easy transition back.

4. Elizabeth Gilbert Has a New Book (and We’ve Got the First Look at the Cover!) on the Etsy blog.

8. cArtographies – Crystal Pite, a beautiful, inspiring video which led me to a similarly beautiful and inspiring project, “BC filmmaker and visual artist Brian Johnson profiles 19 BC-based artists, from a variety of disciplines, who are both inspired and challenged by their geographic surroundings.” Too bad the full video can only be watched if you are in Canada — lucky Canadians. You’ve got all the good stuff.

9. The Radiance Sutras, a beautiful text I found by way of this post on Kintsugi Dance.

10. How To Get Your Writing Mojo On from Laurie Wagner.

11. Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Episode 05 – The Eightfold Path.

12. The Splendid Table’s Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove, a recipe I found by way of Kirsten’s In the kitchen post. Another good thing from Kirsten this week was her post, Yoga and men.

13. A Yoga Teacher Training Certificate is Just the First Step on Elephant Journal.

14. Here’s Tina Fey And Amy Poehler’s Opening Monologue From The 2015 Golden Globes.

15. Good stuff on Slate: Children Photographed With Their Most Prized Possessions and This Guy Took a Photo Every Time He Saw Someone Reading a Book on the Subway.

16. 25 Ways to Stop Feeling Overworked and Overwhelmed from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

17. unexpected california eclectic on SF Girl by Bay.

18. Wisdom from Rachael Maddox, “Magic is the natural and spontaneous aligned activity that happens on the other side of presence and compassion.”

19. Some things that made me really angry this week: Charlize Theron Negotiates $10M Raise After Sony Hack Reveals Male Costar Was To Be Paid Millions More, and 100 serial rapists identified after rape kits from Detroit Crime Lab are finally processed, and The brutal secrets behind ‘The Biggest Loser.’

20. Self-Taught Chinese Street Photographer Takes China By Storm With His Perfectly Timed Photos on Bored Panda.

21. My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward.

22. Trapped In His Body For 12 Years, A Man Breaks Free on NPR.

23. Ellen DeGeneres Humorously Responds to Pastor Who Accused Her of Promoting the “Gay Agenda” in Hollywood.

24. Quitting Sugar Is Not The Answer.

25. On Stuff by Meghan Genge.

26. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa, on how meditation leads to wisdom,

Out of that precision and refinement comes gentleness. You are not just paying attention, but you are also aware of your own pain and pleasure, and you develop sympathy and friendship for yourself. From that you are able to understand, or at least see, the pain and suffering of others, and you begin to develop a tremendous sense of sympathy for others. At the same time, such sympathy helps the mindfulness-awareness process develop further. Basically, you become a gentle person. You begin to realize that you are good: totally good and totally wholesome. You have a sense of trust in yourself and in the world. There is something to grip on to, and the quality of path or journey emerges out of that. You feel you want to do something for others and something for yourself. There is a sense of universal kindness, goodness, and genuineness.

27. 23andMe is a DNA analysis service providing information and tools for individuals to learn about and explore their DNA, ancestry-related genetic reports. I kinda wanna do it.

28. How to set goals & commitments that you’ll actually keep from Alexandra Franzen.

29. Good stuff from Be More with Less: Defeat the Clutter that Defeats Your Purpose and Women Can Be Minimalists Too.

30. Please Don’t Start Meditating (Unless You’re Willing to Change) from Lodro Rinzler. Also from Lodro, A Meditation for Morning Intention.

31. My Accidental Book Deal from Laura Simms. I love this part,

The editor had already reached out to another coach about being the author, but she already had a book in the works and couldn’t take another one on. She recommended me.

That’s it.

Someone recommended me. I’m not close to this person, we’ve never met in person. We’ve exchanged some complimentary words on Twitter. That’s the extent of our relationship. She just thought I’d be a good fit for the book.

And I had almost four years of writing samples on my blog to speak for me. And had released two ebooks on my own. And built a decent social media presence. Of course, there’s that. Let’s not discount all of that work. If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, then I had done my side of the equation.

So that’s my accidental book deal. The book that showed up when I was just minding my own business, doing the work, and being visible.

32. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: Benefits of Massage (Infographic) and 10 Signs You’re In A Codependent Relationship.

33. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: Buddha’s Daughters: An Interview with Insight Teacher Gina Sharpe and George Takei’s six best Buddhist posts.

34. Truthbomb #711 from Danielle LaPorte: “Make choices that liberate you.”

35. The 17 Naughtiest Dogs Of 2014.

36. Trust the Timing of Your Life, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

37. Blink Now. “The BlinkNow Foundation’s mission is to provide an education and a loving, caring home for orphaned, impoverished and at-risk children.” This organization was founded by a single teenager, who is now Mom to 50+ children she’s adopted. Kinda makes you want to get off your ass, doesn’t it?

38. Sukha on the Squam blog.

39. Authentic Success in the New Year ~ with a little help from Liz Gilbert.

40. Your Turn Challenge, starts today. Read more of the backstory in Seth Godin’s blog post, Getting unstuck (a one week challenge).

41. Photo Battle: Katja Blichfeld vs. Ellen Van Dusen. So fun.

42. Neil Gaiman Shares The Easiest Way To Become A Successful Writer on BuzzFeed.

43. The unofficial comfort foods of every state in America. I wholeheartedly agree with the choices for Colorado and Oregon.

44. Syrup sandwiches and stolen toilet paper: Reddit users describe growing up poor.

45. A Note from the Universe, “All deliberate change, Jill, first comes from denying the logic that most gives you comfort.”

46. The Most Important Question of Your Life from Mark Manson. It’s not what you think.

47. Changing the World, One Word at a Time! | The Queen Latifah Show.

48. This Video Encouraging Women To Be More Active Has Gone Viral on BuzzFeed.

49. The Reason You Make Unhealthy Choices. Spoiler alert: “Self-compassion — accepting yourself without judgment when times get tough — is linked to better health behaviors.”

50. Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links: From The Good Life to Gratitude. Tammy was one of the contributors to the Self-Compassion Saturday eBook and shared the link on her list this week.

51. The myth of perfection from Susannah Conway.

52. The things we’d rescue from the fire from Judy Clement Wall. The New York Times piece Judy links to is also worth reading, What Would You Grab in a Fire?

53. 19 Badass Instagrammers Who Prove Yoga Bodies Come In All Shapes And Sizes on BuzzFeed. Just one of the reasons Instagram is awesome.

54. When Their Cat Found Baby Ducks, They Never Expected This To Happen. So much cute.

55. Letter from the Birmingham Jail from Seth Godin.