Category Archives: Book

Day of Rest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brave Belly

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

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

Something Good

1. Good stuff from Kat McNally: August Moon 13 and The push and pull of grateful.

2. Japanese Photographer Takes Cutest Pictures of His 4-year-old Daughter on Bored Panda.

3. How to talk to someone who’s grieving on Salon.

4. Wisdom from a Facebook post written by Elizabeth Gilbert, “I’ll tell you one of the really good things about getting older: Slowly, you start to work out a comprehension of your own inherent madness.”

5. Enough is Enough by Diane Clement.

6. 15 Ways to Spread Kindness in Your World Today on The Positivity Blog.

7. Grief Intelligence: A Primer on Huffington Post.

8. Not Knowing What to Say on Gluten Free Girl.

9. Need a totally profesh-sounding bio? Like, right now? A Mad Libs-style template for anyone, ever. from Alexandra Franzen.

10. I Believe An Introduction Is In Order. on Blog con Queso. There is almost nothing cuter than a boy and his dog, (unless it’s a girl and her dog).

11. Insights at the Edge, Sounds True interview, Tara Brach: Radical Acceptance.

12. Wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut, shared by Elizabeth on the Squam blog,

The arts are not a way to make a living.
They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly,
is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.
Sing in the shower.
Dance to the radio. Tell stories.
Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.
Do it as well as you possibly can.
You will get an enormous reward.
You will have created something.

13. 20 Hilarious Cooking Fails That Will Make You Feel Like an Iron Chef on Bored Panda.

14. 21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed. I might have posted this before, but it is worth repeating.

15. C.O.G. – Official Trailer, this autobiographical comedy is the first-ever screen adaptation of the work of acclaimed writer David Sedaris and I can’t wait to see it.

16. How To Make Anyone (And Everyone) Want You on Mind Body Green.

17. The Most Honest And Heartbreaking Reason To Leave Your Front Door Unlocked I’ve Ever Heard on Upworthy.

18. She allowed ~ Bella on She is Three.

19. Colbert Takes On Out-Mayor Johnny Cummings.

20. Voice Notes: Laura Simms, an interview with one of my favorite women on The Voice Bureau. I hadn’t realized that both Laura and I are INFJ, (there aren’t that many of us, only about 1% of the population).

21. isolation never looked so goodfrom SF Girl by Bay. Dreamy.

22. Cleaning: A Creative Practice? on Scoutie Girl.

23. Shake the Dust.

24. 5 Keys to An Engaging Online Course on the Ruzuku blog.

25. 20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized and The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever from Twisted Sifter.

26. Recovering the Body, “Physical practices to foster recovery from addiction,” a new blog from Jennifer, the author of Guinevere Gets Sober, one of my favorite blogs, one of my favorite bloggers.

27. 17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand on BuzzFeed.

28. Outside’s Best Towns 2013, Editor’s Choice: Fort Collins, Colorado. It is pretty great here.

29. Kid President is celebrating World Humanitarian Day!

30. More wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook,

We need you here NOW, as you are, which is almost certainly GOOD ENOUGH. Speak now. Act now. Try now. Raise your voice now. Throw your ideas into the ring now. Show somebody your work now. Ask for the promotion now. Present your questions and doubts and suggestions now.

31. Fear Project, from artist Julie M. Elman, “I illustrate people’s fears. Working with their words, I just try to visualize what those fears could possibly look like. I work quickly and post my pieces no matter how I feel about them. It’s a good way to get over any fears I have about the creative process.” Thanks to Jeff Oaks for sharing the link.

32. Wisdom from Seth Godin, “The Dummies mindset, the get-rich-quick long sales letters, the mechanistic, industrial processes aren’t on offer because they’re the best we can handle. No, they sell because they promise to reduce our fear.”

33. From Brave Girls Club,

Every day the sun comes up and every day the sun goes down. Every day we have an entire day to do the best we can do, and then we get to go to bed and be done with it. When we wake up every morning, we have the chance to start over with a sparkling brand new day. No blemishes, no stains, nothing . . . a brand new beautiful perfect day to make into whatever we choose. If we stumble and have a less than desirable day, or if we make mistakes, if we do things we are not proud of . . .

. . . we get to start over the next day.

Let each day go and be done with it. TODAY is your day. TODAY is THE day, the very most important day of your life right now. Let yesterday go and start over fresh.

34. 32 Books That Will Actually Change Your Life, according to BuzzFeed.

35. 5 Ways to Wake Up on Elephant Journal.

36. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

37. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

Sometimes we don’t act because our souls know it’s not the right time or right thing. It’s not that we’re lazy. It’s that we’re fiercely guided. Fear tries to push us. Love will wait until we’re ready — because only our readiness makes it the right time.

38. Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Biggest Self-Hater of All? on Elephant Journal. Miriam Hall is one of my favorite Elephant Journal contributors.

39. The Making of a 21st-Century Illuminated Manuscript: Inside Debbie Millman’s Creative Process on Brain Pickings.

40. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, Chickpea Pesto Sandwich Recipe from Thug Kitchen.

41. Quite possibly the best video ever, OWN Original Shorts: Dogs/Meditation. The only problem with this video is that it’s not long enough.

Day of Rest

We just got back from spending three nights at a cabin up at Crystal Lakes. After losing Dexter, we needed to get away to the green and the quiet, spend some time just the three of us, hit the reset button.

The cabin is called Lofty Lookout, and it has a gate at the end of a long driveway lush with aspens and wildflowers that hides the house from the main road (when Eric saw that, he said “I approve”), and is four floors high (basement, main floor, sleeping loft, and another sleeping loft). It was way too big for the three of us, but we rented it because of the location and the decks.

The view was amazing, there were hummingbirds at the feeder all day, and we could walk out the front door and land directly on a five mile hiking trail that wound through pine trees, aspen groves, and meadows. At the sight of one spot along the trail, filled with aspens and wildflowers, Eric said “you almost expect a unicorn to come walking out of there.”

We hiked every morning, took naps every afternoon. I watched some HGTV and one day read an entire book, Neil Gaiman’s latest, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was a wonderful book, but I’m biased because I love everything he writes — graphic novels, adult fiction, children’s books, essays, blog posts. One of my favorite parts of the book was this,

I have dreamed of that song, of the strange words to that simple rhyme-song, and on several occasions I have understood what she was saying, in my dreams. In those dreams I spoke the language too, the first language, and I had dominion over the nature of all that was real. In my dream, it was the tongue of what is, and anything spoken in it becomes real, because nothing said in that language can be a lie. It is the most basic building brick of everything. In my dreams I have used that language to heal the sick and to fly; once I dreamed I kept a perfect little bed-and-breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say, in that tongue, “Be whole,” and they would become whole, not be broken people, not any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping.

The land, the trails and the trees and the sky here in Colorado are magical. The time spent there was medicine, and yet I wasn’t without suffering, wasn’t beyond generating my own suffering. As a part guard, part herd breed, Sam takes a while to settle in anywhere new, is nervous and worried. I felt bad at first for forcing him along, even though I know that doing new things is good for him, that challenging him a little helps him to become a more confident dog. He panted and whined that first night, checked on every new noise and sound. Then on the second day, just as he was calming down, he got a spider bite on his belly and I worried about that.

The first night, I slept terrible, between Sam’s whining every time we moved and us choosing apparently the most uncomfortable bed in the whole cabin. Then there was the night we were boiling water to cook some corn on the cob and something that had been spilled on the burner drip pan caught on fire. And that night when we moved to a different, more comfortable bed, I had to move the carbon monoxide detector (the little green light would have kept me awake), and unplugging it set it off and I couldn’t figure out right away how to stop it.

Then on our hike the final morning there, our car alarm got triggered while it was parked at the trailhead, and malfunctioned so that it keep going off, stopping and starting for who knows how long, and someone left a nasty note on our car window (saying things like “rude” and “extremely annoying”), as if anyone would do such a thing on purpose. So even as I tried to relax, to heal, I continued to generate my own suffering. I can’t escape myself, no matter where I go, no matter how far I hike.

On our last afternoon, we saw a hummingbird sitting on its nest. When they are making their nest, they gather up anything soft they can find and they bind it all together with spiderwebs. They do this so that the nest will stretch as the babies get bigger. I was comforted seeing this, because earlier in the day, a war had begun around the hummingbird feeder on the cabin’s main deck. We’d been enjoying it so much, how we could sit right next to it but they would come feed anyway, letting us watch. But at some point, things turned sour and they began fighting over it, guarding the feeder by chasing and attacking each other, even though there was so much food available there was no way they could ever eat it all. We are like that too, I thought as I watched them, so convinced that there’s not enough, that the only way to get what we want, what we need is to fight for it.

Every time I feel anxious or sad, irritated or uncomfortable, I try to remember what Pema Chödrön teaches about working with groundlessness,

It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human.

We cause so much unnecessary suffering for ourselves and each other, can be so confused, allow ourselves to get caught up in the anxiety of “not enough.” I am trying to be gentle, to forgive myself for that. Every moment I try and keep my heart open, to soften and surrender to what is, to notice the magic happening around me, to generate compassion and ease suffering. Some moments I am more successful than others, but I keep showing up, keep trying.

Self-Compassion Saturday: Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Today is the first official day of the World Domination Summit, (WDS). I am trying not to be jealous or feel sad when I look at all the pictures and updates being posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s kind of like having to stay home from summer camp or missing a school field trip because you are sick, knowing how much fun everyone is having, feeling a little left out and sorry for yourself. And yet, I know it was the right thing for me to not go this year, that Dexter needed me here, that I need the time to grieve his loss, (and besides, I spent so much money on it last year, I really couldn’t justify spending more, again, so soon).

One of the best things about WDS is the people you meet, the connections you make with those who are doing similar work and have similar ideas, who share your intentions and your experience. Last year at WDS, I was lucky enough to meet Anne-Sophie Reinhardt. Without planning to, we kept running into each other over the course of the weekend, sitting together and talking about the things we had in common. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with her. She has the biggest heart, makes you feel immediately safe and at ease, and she has the best smile, the greatest laugh.

annesophiewds2013

Anne-Sophie in a WDS hammock, 2013

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is a body image expert, self-love advocate and the author of Love Your Body The Way It Is. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series helping you to break free from your obsession with food and your body. On her website’s about page she says,

For the longest time, I was caught in a circle of self-doubt and self-loathing. Now, I’m free, confident and happy with myself and my body. My mission is to help you achieve the same.

And,

I write on, teach and live self-love and body-love. Sometimes, I even breathe it … I believe that every single woman can find peace around food and her body. I dream of creating a world where women love themselves unabashedly, completely and guiltlessly.

I am so grateful for the work Anne-Sophie is doing, the difference she is making, to me and in the world. And I am so happy to be able to share her perspective on self-compassion with you today.

annesophie

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

To me, self-compassion means having a binge and not beating yourself up. It means looking in the mirror and saying to yourself: Yes, love, your stomach isn’t perfect, but I love you anyway. It means laughing when you make a mistake instead of going into self-attack and it means responding to your ever-present critic in the head with a loud and clear “Fuck You”.

Self-compassion is a skill that every woman can learn. It’s a process that you commit to and once you decide to go from self-attacking mode to self-compassionate mode, your life completely changes.

Self-compassion helps to heal broken hearts and wounded souls. It’s the elixir of self-care and the golden heart of a self-loving person.

Self-compassion also means taking a bath at the end of a hard day, learning to say no when you’re exhausted and hell yes when something really exciting. Self-compassion doesn’t always feel good to you but it’s always good for you.

2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

Big question. I think that I’m still very much on the path to learning self-compassion. I never had a specific teacher or even a guru, but through my recovery from anorexia, I’ve read a lot, sat in meditation for days, tried, failed and tried again. I’ve learned to first not act on the constant critic’s advice and then I learned to respond to it in a different way. There were days when it was easy not to be so very hard on myself and there were and still are many days, where WWIII is happening in my body and mind.

Two steps forward. One step back.

That’s reality, life and a true self-loving path. If you can accept that, truly accept it, then you’re one step closer to a wholly self-compassionate life.

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

My number one way of showing self-compassion is to nourish my body with healthful, delicious food. I’ve been negating myself food for 14 years and it’s still my weakness. Another way to practice self-compassion is meditation. For about 8 months, I’ve been meditating every morning instead of running to the computer and letting the craziness of the day into my world. This lets me start my day with deep introspection and I always feel more balanced, which leads to being kinder to myself.  I often treat myself to a mani/pedi when I’m in a big self-attack mode or I simply go for a walk in nature, which never fails to ground me and helps me to see what’s really important. Also, when I had a fight with a loved one or I’ve made a mistake, I am kinder with myself as I used to be. It takes presence and practice in those moments, but the more often I do it the more intuitive a self-compassionate response gets.

4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

Lots of things. How to not be so hard on myself when my business doesn’t do as well as I’d like it to go. How to be at peace even when I can’t work out for a few days. How to be present and grateful for being myself instead of always looking for the future. I still need to understand what complete peace of mind feels like, but I trust the process and I know that one day soon, I’ll know or I won’t. Either way, I’ll be more grounded, happier and kinder to myself and others.

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I am so grateful for Anne-Sophie, for her responses — so genuine, just like her. I love how she described self-compassion as “the golden heart of a self-loving person.” To find out more about Anne-Sopie, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Susan Piver.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.

Something Good

summereddyhall

1. This wisdom from Kristen Noelle’s Trust Notes,

And I sit here with these many things, getting quiet. Leaning into silence. I’m listening for what wants to be said, and the only thing that arises is this sense that we need holding space.

Holding space where more mental processing isn’t required.
Holding space for the feelings that arise – often in combinations that surprise and confound us.
Holding space where more lists of what to do, or what not to do, or how to get more healthy feel moot somehow. Not stupid – just not needed right now.
Holding space for stillness.
Holding space for not-striving.
Holding space for noticing our breath.

It’s not a checking out of life, a numbing to it. But rather a pause to simply be.

2. This wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

Going after your dreams isn’t about “getting things done.” It’s about being “undone,” letting go of limiting assumptions, forgiving yourself deeply, falling in love with yourself, your life, your consciousness and your gifts. It’s a process, not a race.

And this,

Have things gotten harder lately? You are walking through fire. These times will burn away the false. Only the real and true remains. You cannot be diffuse and potent at the same time. The fire times burn off everything that does not match your soul.

3. Good Life Project “Living Creed.”

glplivingcreed

4. My Creative Joy : Fabric from Rachel Cole, (hey look, Rachel, you’re in the top ten again!). I am afraid to go near a fabric store. As the daughter of a seamstress and the niece of a quilter and many other crafty women, I know that it’s only a matter of time before I am similarly obsessed — I want to make stuff!

5. Old Spock battles New Spock in the greatest car commercial ever

6. 59 Awesome FREE things to do to Feel Amazingly Alive, from The Freedom Experiment.

7. 10 Ways to Stop Overeating Today from Anne-Sophie.

8. Two heartbreaking, sweet videos from the Black Forest Fire, Baby Deer Rescued By Firefighter and Touching reunion between fire evacuee & his horse.

9. Habits: A Simple Change in Mindset Changes Everything from Zen Habits.

10. This wisdom from Brave Girls Club

You are doing so many good things. You are going so many wonderful directions. You are spreading so much goodness and kindness and wild-happy energy.

You are making goals and dreaming dreams and trying to do even better than you did yesterday.

You are thinking about people you love and how you can serve them, you are a loyal friend and family member. You are making an enormous difference in the lives of all who know you, and in so many lives you don’t even know about too.

It’s time to give yourself a break. time to stop and thank your body and your soul for everything it does to keep you going. This would be a great weekend to do just that . . . give yourself a break. Pat yourself on the back and take a nap and a hot bath. Even eat some chocolate! 🙂

Sure, there are still lots of things for you to work on, and you will get to that. You are doing great, and sometimes you just have to stop and let yourself breathe, evaluate, rest, recharge, restore.

Take good care of yourself, fabulous friend. We need all of the fabulousness of you!

11. This cuteness from Reddit. An elephant, a dog, and the ocean in the background, it really doesn’t get much better — unless of course there are two dogs, and a pie.

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12. Baby Sea Lion Climbs Onto Boat For Some Snuggle Time.

13. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday list: Stocking Your Refrigerator for Everyday Healthy Meals.

14. This is what your supermarket would look like if all the bees died off, heartbreaking pictures from Grist.

15. Gaiman’s New ‘Ocean’ Is No Kiddie Pool, an interview with the author, one of my favorites, on NPR. I want this book.

16. Christina Hendricks Should Lose a Few Pounds.* on Elephant Journal.

17. Brody Dalle on The Conversation.

18. Angry is a habit from Seth Godin.

19. 11 Tips & Tricks for Mindful Writers on Elephant Journal.

20. your daily rock : open up

21. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, how I want my daughter to look.

22. From Positively Present Picks: 10 Small Ways to Make This The Happiest Summer of Your Life, and Can A Number Determine Your Fate? What Numerology Can Tell You About Your Life Purpose (which led me to this, because apparently I’m a 7), and Yay! Magnets, love them.

yaylovemagnet23. This wisdom from Umair Haque, “Your life will never feel true unless you fuck it up whenever it feels like a lie.”

24. Do you realise how extraordinary your story is? from Marianne Elliott.

25. This cool post on Reddit, Photographer James Mollison took photos of fans from a bunch of different concerts to show how people will emulate their idols. The photos are amazing. We are all so gloriously weird.

26. C. Jane Kendrick: Weight loss never promised peace: Why I exercise without expectations.

27. Bob Dylan´s HAND LETTERING EXPERIENCE from Senna. I really want to try something like this.

28. When It’s Time for Coziness and Comfort, a really great list on the Mojo Lab.

29. The internet IS real life, from Nextness. All I can say is “amen.”

Day of Rest

Sundays are for remembering how much I love the world – this world, with all its sorrows & impossible acts of kindness. May your Sunday offer what renews your own connection to your soul-awareness, may it offer you a chance to fall in love, again, with your life. ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

For those of you “new here,” let me explain: Day of Rest posts are intended to support my effort to cultivate rest in my life, (I’m not very good at it — taking care of myself, slowing down, resting). In my effort to be better at this, I’m keeping a sabbath day in my life, a day of prayer and rest, of presence and mindfulness, ease and love, and on these days I’d like to offer you, kind and gentle readers, something that might help you in that same pursuit.

I am having a slow and lazy Sunday. I meditated and wrote first thing this morning. After a long walk with Eric and the dogs, I went to yoga, a class taught by my friend, one of my favorite teachers. I was shocked when I signed in to see I hadn’t been there in three months. I fell asleep during shavasana, so when I came home, I took a nap — for 2.5 hours! I was hungry then, so I ate some watermelon. When it is in season, I can’t get enough of it, so crisp and wet and sweet. I had some lunch and a big glass of cold water, and then came here to write a post, back in my bathrobe in the middle of the afternoon.

Since beginning work on my Self-Compassion Saturday project, the Universe has been bombarding me with messages about self-compassion, helping me to focus on this important concept, this essential practice. Everywhere I look, people are talking about it, sharing links, books and articles and quotes and podcasts. Here are a few I’d like to share with you today, on this day of rest:

It’s that last one that really got me thinking. You see, right now I am reading Kristin Neff’s book Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, or at least I am trying to read it. I don’t seem to have time to read lately, and there are a lot of things I want to be reading. Then I realized this morning I did have time, but one thing needed to change to make space, so I made the pronouncement to Eric: I am not watching TV this week, (he’ll keep me honest). This has happened before. We once went for a full year without, and haven’t had cable TV for many years. I watch less than average, but it is still an hour or two in my day that I can free up for reading. It’s the thing I decided to do, both to rest and to practice self-compassion.

Do you have something in your life that is mucking up the works? Something you could let go of for awhile? Give yourself some space, show yourself some kindness — I am wishing you that freedom, today and always.

Something Good (Part Two)

Uh-oh! I got so excited that I pushed publish before I was done making my list, so here’s part two.

21. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : break old patterns, your daily rock : own your messiness, and your daily rock : love your life.

22. Sit Every Day by Diana Winston on Shambhala Sun, a really great post on meditation practice, and Happiness Defined: Your Interpretations Of What It Means To Experience Joy on Huffington Post, both originally shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list.

23. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

Dear Smart Girl,

Sometimes we all forget things that are very important, and very simple – so simple that we really shouldn’t be forgetting these things, but we do. One of these things that we forget, many times when it is MOST important, is that we mustn’t turn to destructive things when bad things happen. We mustn’t treat hard times with things that will make us feel even worse.

We do it though, don’t we? We over-eat when we are feeling stressed or lonely or lost. We drink too much, or we spend money we don’t have or we indulge in other kinds of addictive self-medicating. We say mean things to ourselves. We treat people we love with unkindness. We do things that we will regret almost as soon as we are done doing them.

Lovely, sweet friend, please take a few deep breaths when you are feeling a little off, and before you turn to something that will really make you feel even worse, really THINK about how you want to feel tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. And then turn to something that will bring you comfort, guidance, truth and peace. The rush might not be as fast as the destructive things, but the results will be lasting, productive and positive. You will end up in a peaceful place instead of a miserable place.

Call a friend, read something positive, go for a walk, write in your journal, pray, meditate, hold and animal or a baby, visit someone who is sick, look at the sky in the fresh air. Let the feelings pass. They will pass.

You are so loved. You are worth making good choices, you are worth taking care of. Please take good care of yourself.

xoxo

24. How To Stick To Your NO When People Keep Pushing from Alexandra Franzen on Mind Body Green.

25. The part we get to choose from Judy Clement Wall.

26. Michael Buble duets with 15 year old boy, a moment which starts off with a heckler, but turns out to be something else entirely.

27. This quote: You have unconditional authority to deconstruct your own reality. ~Roy H. Williams

28. Three books I want, and it’s all Brain Pickings fault: Make Good Art: Neil Gaiman’s Advice on the Creative Life, Adapted by Design Legend Chip Kidd, Fail Safe: Debbie Millman’s Advice on Courage and the Creative Life, and No Kidding: Women Writers and Comedians on the Choice Not to Have Children.

29. More wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert,

LET’S TALK SERIOUSLY ABOUT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Everyone, will you help me (and a fellow seeker) out with this?

A visitor to this page has just asked me whether “unconditional love” means staying in an abusive relationship and learning how to love the person despite how he harms you.

This question makes me want to cry.

Dear one, dear friend, dear heart — the answer to that question is very simple: NO.

No, no, no, no, no, no.

Also: Never, never, never, never, never.

The wisest teaching I’ve ever heard about this came from a dear monk friend in India who told me, “We must love everyone. That is what God asks of us. But some people can only be loved from a safe distance.”

And in regards to some people, that “safe distance” may mean: Never See Them Again. Never Take Their Calls. Never Let Them Near You. Never Let Them Know Where You Live.

Pema Chodron, the great buddhist teacher, has also taught beautifully on this subject. She explains that we should not close our hearts to anyone, but that we must also set healthy and safe boundaries. She urges us not to mistake compassion for compliance. As she said once in a lecture, “Put people in jail, if they are unsafe to others, but do not close your hearts to them.”

Being a compassionate person does not mean allowing anyone in the world to treat you (or anyone else) abusively. There is nothing to be “learned” in an abusive relationship (except how to finally leave.) There is no emotional growth waiting for you in an abusive relationship. There are no day-to-day lessons that will make you a more enlightened being if you learn how to bear it, how to endure it. You will not be a better person in any way for staying. On the contrary, it will corrode your soul. Staying with somebody who harms you (in any way) does not mean you are compassionate; it only means you are co-dependent and very likely in psychological, spiritual and/or physical danger.

This one absolutely breaks my heart, guys.

Please, if somebody is harming you in any way: GO. Today.

All Love,
Liz

30. 8 Secrets from 8 Curvy Women Who Love Their Bodies, and The Battle of “Not Thin Enough,” both shared by Stephanie in her Weekend Treats post.

31. Be More, Do Less on Think Simple Now, and Self Improvement VS. Self Acceptance on Owning Pink, both shared on Positively Present Picks.

32. And because Eric asked me to share this on my blog, just Snoop Dog with some dolphins.

snoop

33. This quote: The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy or too impatient. Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

34. Because it’s just too cute. You’re welcome.

mamaandbaby

35. Fitch, Please. Ellen sticking up for people like she does, one of the reasons I adore her.

36. 21 Reasons Ira Glass Is The Most Perfect Man Alive on BuzzFeed. Only 21? I say they didn’t work hard enough on this list, because there are more than 21 reasons.

37. Summer Journals A-F, places taking submissions.

38. On accidental sabbaticals from Susannah Conway.

39. magical architecture from Sas Petherick. (One of 25, baby).

40. 6 Questions You Need To Stop Asking Yourself from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

41. Mutual pillow, double love.

doublepillow