Category Archives: Ali Edwards

Something Good

First, I have to share my good news, a big announcement: I am a teaching assistant in the current session of Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen’s Mondo Beyondo ecourse!!! What the what?! Oh yeah, me. It is every kind of awesome and I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

teachingassistantbio

Yep, that’s me, my class bio…holy wow.

As a special gift to you, kind and gentle reader, Andrea is offering a $20 off coupon for A Thousand Shades of Gray readers, just enter the code “newdreams20” when you register. I’d love to see you there, and can’t say enough good things about the class. I was thinking about it yesterday, and realized that it is the place it all started for me: my session of Mondo Beyondo started on 9/12/11 and I published my first blog post 9/16/11.

P.S. This is zero week for the course, but there’s still time and room to register.

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled list of goodness:

cafeardourbirdcage

1. Downton Abbey, Season Three, Episode One. You can watch it online at PBS.org, (guess what I’ll be doing later?)

2. Danielle LaPorte TruthBomb: You are the answer to your own question.

3. Also from Danielle Laporte, What’s Holding You Back? and Curatives for judgement. (Please read before you interact with other humans.) And this morning on Facebook, she shared this:

Wisdom from Anita Moorjani: Many of us who have spent years trying to work on improving ourselves often end up being our own worst critics. We judge ourselves harshly if we feel fear or a sense of loss or depression. We feel that “with everything we have read and learned, we should know better by now” and feel as though we have gone backwards in our learning, and can’t figure out where we went wrong. It leaves us wondering what we have missed, or what we have yet to learn to get out of this space. This feeling keeps us in constant search for more information. This is a fallout of the “self-help movement”.

If this is you, I’d like to say that first of all, don’t judge yourself for feeling the way you are feeling. Embrace yourself and who you are and where you are at, right now. Remember, you are the sum total of every moment of your life up to this point in time. Embrace it. Accept it. And when we are able to fully embrace and accept it, including accepting the fear, depression, or sadness we are feeling, it is usually followed by a feeling of relief. There is nothing we need to do. Embrace where you are. If you are still feeling heavy with what you are left with even after accepting it, then surrender who you are to the universe. Realize that there is no “new information” or “understanding” out there that you need to pursue. Just surrender. Empty yourself to the universe, or to the god of your understanding, or whatever, and say “here, take me. This is me now. This is who and how I am right now.” And then there should be this deep feeling of relief.

4. It Doesn’t Matter Why. Resolving to Change Your Eating Before the New Year. from Drop It and Eat.

5. In an interview in The Sun Magazine, Parker J. Palmer says: “When individuals don’t know what to do with their suffering, they do violence to others or themselves — through substance abuse and extreme overwork, for example.”

6. 50 Most WTF Animal Pics Of The Year from BuzzFeed, “Animals are Weird. Real Weird.”

7. There was a Time, from Jennifer Louden.

8. Should Buddhist Meditation Make You Happy? by Robert Wright from The Atlantic.

9. Note from the Universe:

In all things, Jill, always and forever, simply wish the best for all
involved, without stating what you think that is. And then, whatever does happen, no matter what happens, know that it was.

10. Your Daily Rock: Simple Wisdom on Patti Digh’s 37 Days.

11. Begin from Life After Tampons.

12. The Sacred Quiet from Jen Lee.

13. It’s 2013 and Time to LEAP!! from Kute Blackson.

14. Little Things Add Up from Slow Love Life, (by way of Lindsey Mead of A Design So Vast and her More Things I Love Lately list). Lindsey also shared an amazing quote in her post All There Will Ever Be.

15. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, the book trailer:

16. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday:

Your life, with its immensity and fear
…now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.
~from Evening, by Rainer Maria Rilke

17. Recipes I want to try (the first two were shared by Patti Digh):

18. The Creativity Interviews: Writer-teacher-entrepreneur Alexandra Franzen on Judy Clement Wall’s website. Two of my favorite women talking about one of my favorite things.

19. This quote from Charlotte Joko Beck:

Every moment in life is absolutely itself. That’s all we have. There is nothing other than this present moment; there is no past, there is no future; there is nothing but this. So when we don’t pay attention to every little this, we miss the whole thing.

And the contents of this can be anything. This can be straightening our sitting mats, chopping an onion, talking to one we don’t want to talk to. It doesn’t matter what the contents of the moment are; each moment is absolute. That’s all there is, and all there ever will be.

20. An igloo made out of colored ice blocks.

21. Out On a Limb by Seth Godin, in which he says, “It turns out that I don’t just write for you. I also write to remind myself of what I’m hoping to become as well.”

22. This quote from Tara Brach: “You can’t wake up the heart if you’re not in your body.”

23. One Little Word 2013 | The Words from Ali Edwards.

Many True Things and One Wish

New Year's Day SkyI know, I know–this post is supposed to be Three Truths and One Wish. But lately, it just doesn’t want to behave, doesn’t want to conform to the rules, and since my goal here is the truth, forcing it to be something it isn’t doesn’t make any sense. Today, what really wanted to be said is that in the past month, there have been practices that have helped me to get at the truth, to go deeper, to consider what has happened in the past year and contemplate what might happen in the next, and I really just wanted to share them with you, in case they might be of some benefit for you as well.

1. Truth: I am so happy that Kat of I Saw You Dancing decided to host Reverb12 this year. For starters, I now have another wonderful blog to read, one where I find myself constantly saying “yes!” and “me too!” as I read. I have entire conversations with her in my head, only a tiny part of which ever get shared with her in the comments. She is a kindred, and even though I am officially about half a month behind in posting responses to the Reverb prompts on my blog, I am so glad I took part this year, gained so much clarity from the process, and hope to again in the next.

2. Truth: Sarada’s New Year’s Eve Yoga class at Om Ananda, my favorite yoga studio was amazing. I attended this special event for the first time last year, and was so happy I did. This year’s practice was the same, the best way to say goodbye to one year and welcome the next: Sarada’s amazing teaching–her warmth and her wisdom, the light and warmth of the space (twinkle lights outside, candles on the window sills, the studio lights dimmed, the hum of the heater), my fellow practitioners, and the focus of the class (union, carrying the strength of the past into the new year, surrendering residual tension, moving forward with intention and love, opening our hearts and being present). I left feeling blessed, blissed, and so so lucky.

newyearseveyoga3. Truth: Reset. Revive. Restart. was so worth doing, and I plan to do it again next year. Sandi Amorim and Cigdem Kobu are amazing women and put together an incredible program. It’s over now (*sob*), and there’s a rumor that our private Facebook group will be shut down in another week, but I’m still in denial about it, am going to miss it so much. It was like virtual summer camp for grown up women. The good news is I can now restart A Year With Myself (another awesome program Cigdem put together), since last year I only got to about week 15 before I crapped out, (another year with myself isn’t the worst thing that could happen).

4. Truth: Signing up for the Open Heart Project, and then joining at the Practitioner level was one of the best things I did for myself this year, maybe ever. Today is the final day of a seven day retreat and it was such a good thing for me, to intentionally focus on reflecting, practicing and contemplating, to not jump ahead into next year or the next thing too soon. I absolutely adore Susan Piver, and the community that has formed around her, the practice and the project, is such a support to me, such an amazing opportunity.

shrinenewyears5. Truth: There were so many prompts and videos and posts and people and practices that helped me transition from 2012 to 2013.

  • Rachel Cole’s Wisdom Notes: Rachel has a quiet, gentle yet powerful way of leading you to the truth. This came at just the right time, and her emails were such a comfort and inspiration during the busy and sometimes stressful holiday season, the overwhelm that can happen this time of year. Her upcoming Ease Hunting promises to be the same sort of wonderful.
  • Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook. I did this last year too, and it’s one of my favorite New Year’s rituals.
  • Picking a word for 2013. This originates (for me anyway) with Ali Edwards, Susannah Conway, and Andrea Scher. Last year I selected Retreat, and this year it’s Freedom.
  • Andrea Scher did a really great post with a series of videos this year, A New Year’s Ritual, a short practice that you might want to consider if you haven’t had time for anything else.
  • Patti Digh offered Two Questions for the New Year, another practice you might still consider if you are short on time, but big on intention.

New Year's Day Sky

One wish: Neil Gaiman offers some of the best New Year’s wishes, so I will share his from this year as my wish for all of us, kind and gentle readers.

It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.

Something Good

1. Finding Peace with Uncertainty by Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. Yes, please.

2. Videos from World Domination Summit 2012. Brene’ Brown’s isn’t here, but the others are worth watching. This one in particular, Scott Harrison talking about Charity:Water and his own personal redemption story, changed me. I challenge any one to watch it and remain unchanged by it–or at the very least realize that you could be doing more. It is a powerful story, important work, and the best news is that you can help. I have committed to giving up my birthday this year, (more on that once I get my campaign site set up).

3. How to Have Your Own Simplicity Summit on Be More With Less. This is going on my to-do list. And, because Courtney Carver was being particularly badass last week, here’s another one: Why You Can’t Measure Self Worth by Net Worth.

4. This quote from Pema Chödrön:

For one day (or one day a week), refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or overworking or spending too much time texting or checking e-mails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you’ve been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.

5. Around Here from Ali Edwards. A really great post and writing prompt idea.

6. 7 Simple Habits for an Awesome Start to Your Day on The Positivity Blog.

7. For cuteness sake, Gorillas very curious about a caterpillar. I especially love when the silver back tells a smaller gorilla to back off and give the little guy some space.

8. This quote from the Dalai Lama:

In order to carry out a practice—such as constantly watching the mind—you should form a determination, make a pledge, right when you wake up: “Now, for the rest of this day, I will put into practice what I believe just as much as I can.” It is very important that, at the start of the day, we should set out to shape what will happen later. Then, at the end of every day, check what happened. Review the day. And if you carried through for that whole day your morning’s determination, then rejoice. Reinforce further your motivation to continue in the same line. However, when you do your reviewing, you may discover that you did things during the day that are contrary to your religious values and beliefs. You should then acknowledge this and cultivate a deep sense of remorse. Strengthen your resolve not to indulge in these actions in the future.

9. Dealing with Exhaustion–Step 1 from Jennifer Boykin on Life After Tampons. When I read this, “it’s really really discouraging to want to change your life, but have absolutely no energy to do it,” I wanted to cry, it felt so true. Jennifer goes on to say, “So, if you’re exhausted today, stop. Make it a game, make it a challenge to figure out the absolute LEAST you can get by with doing for the next 30-days, and then try to shave some stuff off of that list.” Sounds like a plan!

10. How to be soulful, online and off by Jen Lee on Roots of She. I am loving everything Jen Lee does lately.

11. Two messages I really needed to hear, one from The Universe and one from my Inner Pilot Light.

Dearest Jill,
That thing you’re clinging to… let it go.
Breathe in, breathe out, surrender.
Ahhhh….
Your Inner Pilot Light

There hasn’t been one single day of your life, Jill, when the world
hasn’t been made a better place by your presence in it.
Kudos,
The Universe

12. How to make space for quality to show up in your life from Danielle LaPorte, in which she says, “possibility requires space to unfold.”

13. This email I just got from Netflix streaming: “The Office (U.S.) Season 8 is now on Netflix.” I watched the BBC version first, but loved them both, in different ways and for different reasons. I like stuff that makes me laugh, without the comedy being too mean–too dependent on someone being made fun of or tricked or hurt. This is one of my favorite scenes from the U.S. version, and because of it, any time I trip or fall or do something similarly Lucille Ball, I say “parkour! parkour!”

14. Shit Liz Lemon Says. This completely made my week, (except for the fact that NBC is selfish and I can’t embed the video in this post). My favorite Lemon lines are “What the what?” and “I want to go to there.”