Category Archives: Brain Pickings

Something Good

It's still Christmas on the Poudre River Trail.

It’s still Christmas on the Poudre River Trail. Every year, someone sneaks over and decorates three of the trees along the trail, always the same three trees.

1. SECRET BAD GIRL: A Sexual Trauma Resolution Revolution, a Kickstarter project by Rachael Maddox. “How I broke my long-standing sexual trauma spell and grew vibrant, vital & free. A provocative memoir & wildly wise resolution guide.” The deadline to contribute is 12/30 at 5 pm EST. I’m adding my own contribution because I want to read this book and because Rachael is doing important work here.

2. Is it too little butter, or too much bread? from Seth Godin. Oh boy, do I need less bread.

3. Nepal’s Earthquake Victims Face Cold Winter Without Shelter, Aid. Check in the comment section for ways to help, places to donate that might actually have a chance of getting help directly to the people who need it.

4. “If you have a moral attachment to a way of eating, that’s a disordered behavior”: How dieting culture, fat shaming and food porn shape our lives. “Salon talks with Kelsey Miller, author of ‘Big Girl,’ about unlearning toxic messages around food and weight.”

5. Everyone has “their” song, a hilarious short video that I can’t stop watching.

6. Let’s Give The Gift of a Fresh Start, a project started by Humans of New York. Brandon described it this way,

Earlier this month we profiled eleven Syrian families that were preparing to begin new lives in America. They have escaped a horrible war, and have finally secured a degree of safety and security, but the road will be very tough for them. They will be starting at zero in a new country. In addition to the culture shock, they will face innumerable obstacles, including the need to learn an entirely new language. As they attempt to get their footing, they will be provided with little more than the bare minimum needed to subsist. This holiday season, let’s give them a little breathing room. The amount we raise over the next 48 hours will be divided evenly among the refugee families that were featured on HONY this month. Many of these families left Syria with nothing. For years they’ve been forced to stretch every dollar to provide for basic needs, so direct assistance will go a long way. Many of these families are large so we certainly can’t cover all their financial needs. But we can lighten the load and help ease the anxiety of starting over in a strange land. So please consider taking part in this gift by making a small donation.

7. Give Me Five, a hilarious cat video.

8. Watch the stars of ‘Downton Abbey’ play a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity.

9. A DIY mindfulness jar. I love this.

10. What yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley has to say on body image is brilliant.

11. Your Brain on Restriction. This is SO important, and I wish I’d written it.

12. 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest Gallery. Amazing images.

13. Why you should always buy the men’s version of almost anything. Grrrr….

14. A wild sea otter chose to give birth at an aquarium and everyone’s hearts are melting, including mine.

15. If Gyms Were Honest, from Dances with Fat. Reason #111 I want to start my own gym, and when I do, this will be my mission statement.

16. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Limitations can be acknowledged without exaggerating or succumbing to them. When we’re confident that our mind is workable, our failings don’t seem like such a big deal. They’re as temporary as clouds, and in no way diminish the skylike nature of our mind. With this kind of confidence in our limitless potential, the mightiest challenges won’t cause us to lose heart.

17. Pema Chödrön & k.d. lang talk Buddhism, creativity, and “gapaciousness” on Lion’s Roar.

18. Buddhism A-Z: 10 Buddhist books everyone should have, a great list from Lion’s Roar.

19. The Heart of Generosity by Gina Sharpe on Lion’s Roar.

20. Rare bird discovered at Gardens on Spring Creek during Christmas Bird Count. I love everything about this — it’s local, it’s a rare bird, and there is such a thing as a “Christmas Bird Count.”

21. Parents Tell Stepparents What They Really Think, the sweetest video from Soul Pancake.

22. My 4-year-old was told not to say, ‘Happy holidays.’ Here’s how I responded. Word, Dad.

23. 10 Reasons Not to Focus on Your Weight in the New Year, from Be Nourished. SO important. Again, I wish I’d written it.

24. The 15 Best Books of 2015, a list from Brain Pickings. “Rewarding reflections on time, love, loss, courage, creativity, and other transformations of the heart.”

25. SAVE MY ARTWORK a gofundme campaign from Sabrina Ward Harrison, one of my favorite artists, who is in danger of losing a storage unit full of original work, which would be a loss for all of us.

Something Good

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

1. Kindness Project 51-51-51 on Simply Celebrate. My dear friend Sherry is doing another kindness project, “I will send 51 notes to 51 strangers in 51 days. Do you know someone who is lonely, grieving, disappointed, or blue? Someone who needs a boost? If so, please email me and tell me a tiny bit about their story, why you love this person, and their snail mail address. Also, let me know if you want their letter to be anonymous from the universe or from me on your behalf.” Sherry’s got big love to give. All you need to do is let her know where to send it.

2. Dear Retailers: Screw You, a letter from a woman who’s been both “normal” and “plus” sized.

3. 5 Things to Remember When Someone You Love is Depressed from Marc and Angel Hack Life. So important.

4. Homeless Find New Life Working at 22-Acre Organic Farm and Restaurant. What a great project.

5. The Devil’s Food Cake Recipe That Everyone Should Have. I’m certainly willing to test this out.

6. 5 Things I Know About The Path from Momastery.

7. Memories Of A Maybe Angel In ‘Don’t Suck, Don’t Die.’ This sounds like something I’d want to read.

8. One of America’s most beloved authors reveals her ‘number one life hack’ for lasting relationships. Really good relationship advice from Brene’ Brown.

9. The Elephants Always Line Up To Hug This Old Lady.

10. 16 Poses to Ease Back Pain from Yoga Journal. These are some of my very favorites. Back pain or not, they just feel good.

11. Armed with a Sharpie and rocks, this guy is lifting people’s spirits every day. I love stories like this, people who are driven to make stuff for no other reason than to cheer people up, cheer people on.

12. On Failure, and Not-Failure from Emily McDowell. “TL;DR: Social media is a lie and I fail all the time. But it turns out failure is kind of a lie, too.” I’m so glad that the failure narrative is so popular right now. It makes me feel like I’m in really good company.

13. Wisdom from Friedrich Nietzsche, as shared on Brain Pickings, “There is no way to help any soul attain this happiness, however, so long as it remains shackled with the chains of opinion and fear.”

14. Teddy Bear the Porcupine’s Halloween Feast. This is from a few years ago, but it’s worth watching at the beginning of every fall.

15. 15+ Cats That Don’t Care About Your Personal Space on Bored Panda.

16. Tina Fey cracks up playing LaTina Fey. Thanks Billy Eichner.

17. Little Bird, keeping me entertained on my day off, a video on Facebook from Leanne Guzzwell that’s gone viral. And for good reason: so cute! It makes me want to jump around.

18. The best self-love resources, a really great list from Positively Present.

19. SUSDAT from Seth Godin. “Show up, sit down and type.”

20. How Making Art Changes Your Life and Why You Can’t Make it for That Reason, brilliance from Jen Louden.

21. Brave Enough on A Design So Vast.

22. Choose One Thing to Simplify Your Life (just one) from Be More With Less. I’ve been working with the idea of focusing on just one thing at a time, wanting to simplifying my life, so this list is a great help, and Courtney as always is a great resource. My favorites are #11, #13, #17, and #20.

23. The One Secret Thing All Successful People Do. LOVE it.

24. 11 Things Highly Creative People Sacrifice For Their Art. I wish I were brave enough to do all 11. What’s crazy is that I know if I did, I’d be happy, so what is stopping me?! Also interesting about this list is that it’s actually applicable to more than just artists. It could easily be reframed as a list for all humans who want to live their life fully awake and completely in it.

25. When acceptance isn’t for you, a recent newsletter from Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga.

26. You’re Not Too Tired To Create. You’re Too Distracted. Oh, snap!

27. 200 Key Sanskrit Yoga Terms from Yoga Journal.

28. Learning to Die. “My mother taught me many things, including, in the end, how to die.”

29. 19 Banned Books That Actually Changed Your Life from BuzzFeed.

30. 11 Charts That Will Speak To Everyone Who Fucking Loves Sleep from BuzzFeed. *gigglesnort*

31. Self-Taught Polish Artist Uses Fallen Autumn Leaves As Canvases For Her Paintings on Bored Panda.

32. Painter Flora Bowley’s new website is so pretty. I especially love her new Studio Diary series. Each month she’ll explore a different theme through a series videos, written prompts, etc. She’s offering the first month free. The theme is Awakening, and you can access it here — it includes a welcome video, mini painting lesson, real time painting demo, a chat with artist Kelly Rae Roberts, a Q & A with Flora, a guided meditation, a conscious movement session with Lynzee Lynx, smoothie recipes from Shannon Sims, etc. Did I mention this first month is FREE?!

33. Where the children sleep, a heartbreaking series from Magnus Wennman, winner of two World Press Photo Awards and fourfold winner of Sweden’s Photographer of the Year Award, who has met refugees in countless refugee camps and on their journeys through Europe this year.

The war in Syria has continued for almost five years and more than two million children are fleeing the war, within and outside of the country borders. They have left their friends, their homes, and their beds behind. A few of these children offered to show where they sleep now, when everything that once was no longer exists.

34. The Glass Is Already Broken from Adreanna Limbach. “Embracing impermanence can help us develop a deeper appreciation for every day and fill our lives with reverence.”

35. Girl Skulks Into a Room. This is a great read. Just trust me and click the link.

36. Daylight Saving – Movie Trailer. Hilarious.

37. Five Days In The Life: Single, Minimum-Wage Fast Food Working Mom in Chicago.

38. Orphaned Raccoon Rescued By Family With Dogs Thinks She’s A Dog, Too. Pumpkin the Raccoon is my new favorite Instagram account — stupid cute, (someone or something that is so attractive it disrupts your ability to intelligently process information while looking at it, something so unbelievably cute it makes you stupid). And, I think Ringo might be part raccoon.

39. 12 Tough Truths About Great Relationships from Marc and Angel Hack Life.