Category Archives: Carry it Forward

Something Good

1. the pursuit of happiness: how part-time dream-chasing works from Liv Lane. This makes so much sense to me, seems to be how things are working in my case.

2. From a poem shared by the lovely Jessica Patterson,

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
~Judy Brown

3. A quote shared by Christa on Carry It Forward,

The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it. It’s not possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering the unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift – your true self – is the most you can do to love and serve the world…and it is all the world needs. ~Bill Plotkin

4. After School Snack: Almond-Oat Bites. This recipe looks so yummy. I wonder what it would taste like with avocado? 🙂

5. Pets Add Life Outtakes. If this doesn’t make you giggle, we probably wouldn’t get along.

6. This quote from Lin Yutang, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

7. This quote from Pema Chödrön,

Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.

Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.

8. This quote from Ram Daas,

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.

9. [How I Relax] An interview with Marianne Elliott on The Freedom Experiment.

10. Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree: Self-Compassion and Resilience from Lea Seigen Shinraku.

11. International Artist Mary Anne Radmacher Talks Living Boldly on 365 Bold.

12. “A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to.” ~Tom Bissell

13. 9 Steps to Creating a Successful e-Course from Pro Blogger.

14. I Never Thought A 1-Minute Video Could Punch Me In The Heart. Yet Here We Are. Seeing Anne Frank with gray hair made me cry.

15. Washed Away, a New York Times book review of ‘Wave’ by Sonali Deraniyagala, by Cheryl Strayed. After reading this, I immediately ordered the book, knowing it’s going to break my heart.

16. Creating Your Zen Den on Positively Positive.

17. Wisdom from Osho,

When you have dropped all the tension about the future – that I should become this and I should become that – the ego evaporates. The ego lives on a base of the past and the future. Understand this a little. The claims of the ego are of the past, “I did this, I did that” – it is all in the past. And the ego says, “I will definitely accomplish this, I will definitely show you that I can accomplish that.” That is all in the future. The ego simply does not exist in the present. If you come to the present, then the ego disappears. That is death to the ego. Coming to the present is the death of the ego.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön: Comfortable with Transition, a Good Minute Weekly Wisdom offering from Sounds True.

19. Generosity for Georgia, a really great fundraising effort for a single mom fighting cancer. If I had my way, no kid ever again would lose their mom to cancer. For now, the only thing I can do about that is to give some money and love to people like Georgia, and share the link with you so you can too.

20. Wisdom from Patti Digh,

A thought: If we can walk to our edges without judgment–edges are those “hot spots” of discomfort and disequilibrium where real learning can occur–we can learn something valuable about ourselves. But we have to choose between judging and learning, because if we go into judgment (of ourselves or others), we can’t learn. Carry on.

21. A great story from Jen Lee on The Moth.

22. Trading in Consumption on Be More With Less. Courtney Carver continues to be such an inspiration to me.

23. This quote from Tony Schwartz,

Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

24. Five Ways To Nourish Yourself from Nourishing the Soul.

25. Objects of Desire from Lisa Field-Elliot on Doorways Traveler. I love, love, love her writing, her view, her heart. Every post she says something so true, something that startles and stops me, makes me cry. This time it was this, “it is not about accumulating, it is about recognizing and eliminating what does not speak the truth.”

26. i could live here: a converted waffle factory in lille. from SF Girl by Bay. Everything about this place is yummy, gorgeous and good, and I can’t help but wonder, how different would your life be if you lived in a space like that? I mean, it’s a converted waffle factory in France that is decorated and furnished beautifully– everything about that is good. In my dream of it, it still smells like waffles, warm maple and vanilla.

27. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

If we unbalance nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy as, if not healthier than, we found it. This is not quite such a difficult proposition as it might sound. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a universal response might achieve. It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that may be. Just because switching off the light on leaving the room seems inconsequential, it does not mean we shouldn’t do it.

28. From Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Speaking Up About Grief and Why We Rescue Interview, (this project only has one entry so far, but it’s such a good idea, and a really good first interview–I’m a sucker for a good rescue story).

29. This quote from Geneen Roth, “Compulsive eating is only the symptom; believing that you are not worth your own love is the problem. Go for the love. You will never be sorry.”

30. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list, Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing.

31. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Facebook for Buddhists? Five Rules for Maintaining a Mindful “Buddha Status,” and This is Why I Practice, which says,

I don’t practice because I am righteous or virtuous. I certainly don’t practice because I am perfect or peaceful. Nor do I practice to impress you or to prove some inane point about my wonderful brilliant sparkly shininess.

I practice because without practice I am a mess.

Amen.

32. Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You from Space2Live.

33. Pack Animals, from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

We need each other. The trick for me is to accept that need, to allow myself to satisfy it, and even to enjoy it, without allowing it to overtake the rest of my life and make me sacrifice myself.

34. Kid President Laugh Party! I adore Kid President.

35. Do not do shit just to please your parents. In fact, do not pursue anything in order to please someone else. Ever. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte.

36. The Real Journey of a Writer, wisdom from Justine Musk.

Something Good (and a few confessions)

1. Radio Enso #73: Buddhist teacher and author Susan Piver. “In this in-depth and inspirational conversation, we’ll discuss meditation (what IS meditation?, misconceptions about it, etc.), Buddhism, dharma, The Open Heart Project, and Susan’s life journey from a young girl who was always seeking to her life as a teacher, author, and lifelong spiritual practitioner.”

2. How Change Can Save Your Life, from Positively Present. A really great discussion of change, which is inevitable. And, Mourning Sickness: 6 Steps for Coping with Loss, a beautiful contemplation on a brutal experience, in which she says,

Despite the sadness and pain, the true despair of losing a best friend, there is still beauty in life. The beauty of now doesn’t override from the pain of remembering what was, but it helps. Loss will never be painless, but we have some control over how much we suffer.

3. 10 Trust Habits to Support Your Next Scary Step, from Trust Tending with Kristin Noelle.

4. Marina Abramovic and Ulay.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

5. These Aren’t Your Average Snapshots: Bill Gekas’ Portraits of His Daughter as Classic Paintings.

6. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, a super interesting TED Talk. And Chuck Wendig’s response on Terrible Minds, The Art of Asking: For Writers and Storytellers.

7. The Art of Reframing Difficult Emotions, on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Losing Your Mind and Finding Your Self, Ed and Deb Shapiro on The Huffington Post.

9. The Young Girl Who’s Best Friends with African Wildlife. A really fun set of pictures.

Born in Africa to French wildlife photographer parents, Tippi Degré had a most unusual childhood. The young girl grew up in the African desert and developed an uncommon bond with many untamed animals including a 28-year old African elephant named Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, lion cubs, giraffes, an Ostrich, a mongoose, crocodiles, a baby zebra, a cheetah, giant bullfrogs, and even a snake. Africa was her home for many years and Tippi became friends with the ferocious animals and tribespeople of Namibia. As a young child, the French girl said, “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends.”

10. Meditation And Mourning: 3 Obstacles to Successful Grieving, by Lodro Rinzler on The Huffington Post.

11. This quote, so important: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa

12. Open Your Heart to Change the World, an older post from Susan Piver, but fundamental.

13. How I Got the Job and Lost Myself, from Liv Lane, (I confess, I sometimes feel this way about my paid work).

14. Ash Beckham at Ignite Boulder 20, a sane argument for not using the word “gay” as a pejorative, for acceptance rather than tolerance of gay people, (I confess, I love and accept gay people).

15. Book Porn: The 30 Best Places To Be If You Love Books(I confess, I am a bibliophile).

16. Flora Bowley post it notes, oh my, (I confess, I love post it notes).

17. She’s Worth It Fundraising Campaign. A more than worthy cause.

18. Pema Chödrön’s Three Bite Practice.

You can do this anytime you eat a meal. Before taking the first bite, just pause and think of those men and women of wisdom and mentally offer them your food. In this way, you connect with the virtue of devotion.

Before taking the second bite, pause and offer your food to all those who’ve been kind to you. This nurtures the virtues of gratitude and appreciation. The third bite is offered to those who are suffering: all the people and animals who are starving, or being tortured or neglected, without comfort or friends. Think, too, of all of us who suffer from aggression, craving, and indifference. This simple gesture awakens the virtue of compassion.

In this way—by relying on our teachers, our benefactors, and those in need—we gather the virtues of devotion, gratitude, and kindness.

19. When the Universe Has Been Listening All Along, a beautiful post from Christina Rosalie. Also from Christina, 35 Words, “A project with my friend Willow I are doing: 35 Words + an image every day for the year.”

20. The Burning HouseI knew about the book, but hadn’t heard of the blog until I read about it on SF Girl by Bay.

21. A quote from Goldie Hawn, “If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself,” (I confess, I can’t remember who originally shared this quote).

22. This quote from Barry Magid, (shared by Carry It Forward), “Happiness or enlightenment is not something that takes place in our brains. They are functions of a whole person living a whole life.”

23. And this quote from William Henry Channing, (shared by Patti Digh as a Daily Rock on 37 Days),

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.

24. Weight Loss and Recovery—Can they Coexist? Is Recovery Even Possible After So Long? I so appreciate Lori’s sane discussions of dis-ordered eating.

25. With Gratitude, Hope Growsa post about surrendering to the creative process, showing up and allowing what happens, written by Juliette Crane for Your Heart Makes a Difference.

26. Quote from Ram Daas,

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves, where we can look at all that is happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.

27. A really good question from Rumi, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” Why, indeed.

28. Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, a great post by Rita on This (Sorta) Old Life which shares this quote,

we can’t do it all. but we can all do something… the path is set before us and we only need take a little step each day. soon we will look back and be amazed at how far we’ve come. and we can do it without sacrificing those things that matter most in our life and our heart: the main thing. keep the main thing the main thing. (from Grace Uncommon via Leilani at Tales of a Clyde Woman)

29. This quote from the brilliant Geneen Roth,

When I realized I didn’t have to keep “paying” for my life in pounds of suffering, there was a shift. I realized that living wasn’t about deserving, but allowing. Allowing myself to have what I already had. And each of us has so much all the time…

If, today, you made a commitment to allow yourself to have what you already have instead of constantly having to prove that you are worth it in the many ways we strive to prove ourselves, what would you see? What would you know? Can you allow yourselves to have the safety, the love, the beauty, the breath that you already have? Will you give yourself that much–now?

30. A grieving mom’s advice to the rest of us: Love purely, and take it easy, a beautiful and heartbreaking post from Emily Rapp.

31. This song has been in my head, A Thousand Tiny Pieces, from The Be Good Tanyas.

32. soundtrack to your life | rachel cole, in which Sas Petherick interviews Rachel, (the reason that song has been in my head).

33. When Your Work Life is Destroying Your Good Life, on Be More With Less.

34. This song is also in my head, Ellie Goulding – Dead In The Water (Live At iTunes Festival 2012)

35. Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

36. You can’t do any better (but you can feel better), from Marianne Elliott.

37. How Mindfulness Can Help You Discover What You Want to Do in Life, on Tiny Buddha.

38. Lowering Your Standardsa Daily Rock on 37 Days.

39. Minimalism, a post on Smalltopia.

40. Eight years, by Susannah Conway, a post on grief, healing, and tattoos.

41. Daily Happiness: 9 Simple Ways to Find it in Your Life, a post on the Positivity Blog, originally shared on Positively Present.

42. A quote by Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

43. Approximately 3 Minutes Inside The Head of My 2 Year Old by Jason Good. Funny, and I might be a two year old.

44. Observe These Hands, My Dear. from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

I watched the dogs chase each other in the snow and heard the robins singing—a sure bellwether of spring—and the happiness welled up a little bit in me because I was right there, just doing the next thing, and it’s those moments I feel no need to change myself, Fix Myself, do anything to myself to make myself different so other people will be OK with me and my actions. Actually it wasn’t happiness, it was just contentment. The opposite of “discontent.”

“Content”—the word comes from the Latin for contain or to hold. In those moments I feel held, safe.

45. This quote from Julia Cameron, “I love to write. Which isn’t to say that it’s always easy.” Amen.

Something Good

bunny cloud over lory state park, and yes, it’s real.

1. Epic and Ordinary on Doorways Traveler. So beautiful, her raw voice and open heart.

2. A Thousand Mornings with Poet Mary Oliver on NPR. Oh how I love her. I immediately teared up hearing her read her work.

3. From Fiona of Writing Our Way Home:

In this life, with its impermanence and unpredictability and difficult-things-happening, we need all the help we can get. We need to develop habits that steady us, that provide us with nourishment, that remind us of the beauty around us even in the midst of chaos & loss.

And she also shared this:

Since my house burned down
I now own a better view
of the rising moon.
~ Mizuta Masahide, poet and samurai (1657-1723)

4. From Alex Franzen of Unicorns for Socialism: “If I were you, I’d jot down a series of stories I’ve been aching to tell. True stories that happened to me. Nobody else.”

5. A three step practice from Pema Chödrön:

First, come into the present. Flash on what’s happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest if you find that helpful. This is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment, a way of saying, “This is my experience right now, and it’s okay.”

Then go into the next moment without any agenda.

This practice can open us to others at times when we tend to close down. It gives us a way to be awake rather than asleep, a way to look outward rather than withdraw.

6. Half Eaten from Rachel Cole. She’s on fire right now, creating some really juicy stuff. I am so grateful for her honestly in this particular post. I have been in the moment she describes, and to have her share it is medicine to me.

7. Talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama entitled “Human Compassion” given at the College of William & Mary’s Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, on October 10, 2012.

Dalai Lama for president!

8. This video broke my heart, but also filled me up with the love, the beauty that is possible in life. Amy McCracken (who has the biggest heart) shared it in a post on a blog she cowrites, 3x3x365.

9. For Those in the Darkness on Create as Folk.

10. Book Offers Guidance to the Gentle Art of Compassionate Euthanasia, an article about Dr. Cooney of Home to Heaven and her work. Dr. Cooney helped us to let our Obi go, and if we are “lucky” she or one of her kind colleagues will help us let Dexter go. I am so grateful to have such compassionate care so close. It brings me so much comfort.

11. Just One Thing from Susannah Conway. P.S. I am loving her blog redesign.

12. Impermanent art: Motoi Yamamoto’s “Return to the Sea: Saltworks.”

13. 2012, Y2K, and Other Scary End Is Near Predictions.

My advice: rather than worry about some “doomsday prophecy”, why not live your life today like it matters? Why not be present in the NOW? Instead of flipping out over the possibility of dying in some fiery comet (or other fantastical ending) why not just LIVE WELL? And rather than waiting for some random date on a calendar to become enlightened, why not strive to be a better person TODAY?

14. Justine Musk shared a quote from Robert McKee: “A story is the expression of how + why life changes. A story begins with balance, then something throws life out of balance, then a story goes on to describe how balance is restored.”

15.This quote from Tara Brach:

We’ve all felt the power of someone’s care to melt our armor. When we feel upset, often not until someone cares enough to listen or give us a hug are we able to melt down and cry. When someone says to us, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, “Darling, I care about your suffering,” a deep healing begins.

16. Why the pursuit of your dream is your sacred obligation by Justine Musk, in which she says:

Your gift might not cure cancer, but somewhere, in some way, it eases a pain, or solves a problem, or brings light to darkness, or cracks open a false self, or exposes a lie, or generates hope.

17. I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: calm.com

baby chicken cloud over lory state park: yes, it’s real too.

18. Self-Compassion: Learning to Be Nicer to Ourselves on Tiny Buddha.

19. Quote from the Dalai Lama:

Because it is a reality that we are by nature social animals, bound to depend on each other, we need to cultivate affection and concern for other people if we really desire peace and happiness. Look at wild animals and birds. Even they travel together, flock together, and help
each other. Bees do not have a particular legal system, they do not follow any spiritual practice, but for their livelihood and survival they depend on each other—that is their natural way of existence. Even
though we intelligent human beings must also depend on each other, we sometimes misuse our intelligence and try to exploit each other. That goes against human nature. For those of us who profess to believe in a particular religious practice, it is extremely important that we try to help each other and cultivate a feeling of affection for each other. That is the source of happiness in our life.

20. On the leaving on Carry It Forward. I’m so grateful to author Christa Gallopoulos for this, such a beautiful post.

21. So You Want To Be a Writer: Bukowski Debunks the “Tortured Genius”
Myth of Creativity
on Brain Pickings.

22. My Inner Delete Button – 7 Things I’m Trashing from My Life on Ken and Paper.

23. Real Life Minimalists: Courtney Carver. The story behind her badassery.

24. Three minutes towards helping you feel better on Writing Our Way Home. My response to this post, this practice this morning was: Looking out my window into the dark all I can see is the reflection of my own face.

25. What is freedom from Chris Guillebeau.

26. This quote from Cheri Huber: “Perhaps doing in order to be good is what keeps you from realizing that you are already good.”

27. Another quote from the Dalai Lama: “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

28. Everything Is Going To Be OK: Aesthetic Anesthesia for the Soul on Brain Pickings.

humpback whale cloud over salyer natural area.

29. Book Shelf Porn. Yes, please.

30. The power of unconditional acceptance from Kris Carr.

P.S. There are three other lists, similar to my Something Good post, where I get weekly inspiration. Usually a few items from these lists make it onto mine. They are:

Something Good

1. 40 Things To Say Before You Die, which I first read about on Judy Clement Wall’s blog Zebra Sounds. Everything I share on my something good list is here because it’s, well, something good, but this is one of the best. I seriously am going to write these out on index cards and start carrying them around with me, and when I don’t know what to say, I’m going to flip through them until I find the right one, or pick a random one and trust the magic.

2. Saying Goodbye to Bingo: A Life Lesson in Letting Go of Life.

3. A Woman of Wholeness from Jennifer Louden. I especially love the opening lines:

Somewhere there is a room
made of bee’s wax and heart honey
and the sound that is left after the meditation gong has gone still

In it sits the woman you actually are

4. This quote from Herman Hesse, so comforting and wise:

You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation, and a single happiness and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it … It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.

5. This quote from Parker J. Palmer: “I will always have fear, but I need not be my fears, for I have other places in my inner landscape from which to speak and act.”

6. Transformation Talk with Erica Staab + book giveaway. If you’ve been reading these lists for long, you know how much I love blogger Erica Staab. This video was the first time I got to see her “in person,” to hear her wisdom, her story in her own voice. Loved it.

7. Vulnerability, Daring Greatly and Stretching by Erica Staab. Another reason to love her.

8. I’m in Here, Can Anybody See Me? by Amy Ippoliti on Elephant Journal. Simple, short, and so true.

9. I preordered a copy of Marisa Anne’s new book, Creative Thursday – Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice.

10. This poem, shared on Carry It Forward, and from the beginning of Pema Chödrön’s new book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, (which arrived in my mailbox this week–yay!).

Living is a form of not being sure,
not knowing what next or how.
The moment you know how
you begin to die a little.
The artist never entirely knows.
We guess.
We may be wrong,
but we take leap after leap
in the dark.
~ Agnes de Mille ~

11. You’re going to hurt someone by Danielle LaPorte.

12. 10 Sheds/Cabins- Would You Live In These? on Relax Shacks. I might not live in them, but I sure want to play in them.

13. This, from my Inner Pilot Light (by way of the Daily Flame), made me cry.

You can’t see it now, but just around the corner of what’s hurting you now is what will arise to meet you and help you make room for what is next. In order to enjoy the blessing of this precious gift, you must endure the hurt you feel right now. Please, my dear, trust the journey. Wait ’til you see what I see in your future…

14. This quote, from John Irving: If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.

15. You Have Permission (Right NOW!) from Leonie, complete with a free podcast reading.

16. From The Jump, a poem by Maya Stein on bentlily.

The language for courage is so stripped of words, a lump
of a secret only the heart knows the translation to. And yet, unsure
as we are, we recognize the call from down below, and find the edge and leap
even when we don’t. Once we wake up, we can never fall asleep.

17. Who Gave You Permission? a poem by Marianne Elliott, also on bentlily.

Something Good

we have tomatoes!

In putting together today’s list, I am going back through about 150+ old emails that have accumulated over the past month to find the good stuff I can share. The good news for me is that by the end, I’ll have caught up with my email, for about five minutes…
 
1. This quote from Pema Chödrön: “When we practice meditation we are strengthening our ability to be steadfast with ourselves. No matter what comes up – aching bones, boredom, falling asleep, or the wildest thoughts and emotions – we develop a loyalty to our experience.” The month we were gone, I relaxed my meditation practice, wasn’t sitting as often as I typically do (I try to maintain a daily practice, even if all I can do is ten minutes). Now that we are back home in Colorado, I am trying to get back into my normal routine, and quotes like this help, reinforcing my intention, my reason for practice: to develop a loyalty to my experience, to myself.

2. In related good news, this quote from Susan Piver: “your meditation practice is the most helpful tool there is for finding your own voice. As you relax with yourself exactly as you are, insights arise and observations occur. You see how your mind works, what makes it open and what causes it to shut down. There is nothing you have to do to accrue such observations–except to sit, slow down, and look yourself–this precious, wonderful, brilliant, one-of-a-kind being–right in the eye.” This was from an email through the Open Heart Project, Practitioner level, which is also, with love and wisdom, helping me reestablish my daily practice.

3. The $100 Investment: How One Person Really Can Change the World by Lissa Rankin. I am still trying to decide what to do with the $100 I got at the World Domination Summit, and am loving hearing other people’s ideas.

4. When The Fires Came For Us by Laura Pritchett. Local author’s personal story about the High Park Fire.

5. Start small, but start from Patti Digh at 37Days. Such loving wisdom. Spot on. Her Thinking Thursday post this past week was also packed full of amazingness.

6. Anne Lamott has a new book coming out!

7. The Next Right Action on Scoutie Girl. More wisdom about getting moving, “you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”

8. “What is saving your life right now?” I am in love with this question, which I found by way of Lindsey on A Design So Vast, who was sharing something from a post on Saray Bessey’s blog.

9. Two good posts from Life is Limitless: Be honest, be true, be you and What writing can reveal.

10. Maira Kalman on Identity, Happiness, and Existence on Brain Pickings.

11. Shedding a Little Light on Carry It Forward. Especially this part:

It’s easier, of course, to hate. So much easier. And as we are human beings living in a fast paced, stress filled world, easier often wins.

Bringing love and light to the world is hard work. It involves courage, bravery, and standing on your own two feet. Not easy.

And yet? In the end, it’s what will lead us out.

Amen.

12. 3 Bear Cubs Rescued from Dumpster. You most likely already saw this, but just in case, I don’t want you to miss it.

13. Okay, confession time: I only made it through about 50 emails, but I need to be done now, can’t do this any longer (it is lunch time and there are dogs to be walked, week old unpacking that still needs done, along with some organizing and purging), so I will leave you with this adorable picture of my friend Theresa’s dog, Mr. Wilson. Theresa is a pet groomer with a great little shop in Stayton, Oregon, and if you live in the area and need dog grooming, you should totally go there: D’-Tail Pet Grooming. She’s one of the few people I know that is as nuts about dogs as I am.

mr. wilson, “stuffed chair”

Something Good

1. Before and after of a mess. I realize that this is really only something good for me, but I still wanted to share it.

before

after

2. Got my shirt! It fits and it makes me smile.

3. Peonies. I don’t know why, but I am obsessed with them right now. I am planting at least three or four bushes when we redo our front yard so I can have them on my writing desk the whole season.

4. Obi’s rose bloomed. I’m not sure what kind of rose bush this is, but the smell and color is intense, and each bud has about 1000 petals. It grows next to one of Obi’s favorite places in the yard, by the back fence in a spot where he could see both the front and the back.

In the last months that he was alive, every time a new bloom would burst, I’d wonder which would last longer, the rose or Obi. I took a picture of him next to that rosebush during those last nine months that ended up being the picture I posted on Facebook the morning he died. Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending so much time in the backyard lately, but I have been missing that boy like crazy.

5. I can no longer, another great post from Christa at Carry it Forward.

6. The (Fearless) Love Essays by Judy Clement Wall. They’re here, they’re here! I can’t wait to read my copy. And Judy so wants them read, she’s offering them at variable pricing ($7 suggested), so if you can’t pay, you can still download a copy–because that’s how she rolls!

7. An excerpt from Patti Digh’s Commencement Address at Guilford College:

Carol Sanders…writes… “Follow the idea that calls you. As you start on your own life’s passage, follow the idea that makes you wake in the morning without an alarm, that calls you to scribble ideas on napkins and scrap paper and to lose all sense of time, that makes your heart beat faster at every corner with the endless possibilities.”

Yes, please!

8. Cultivate Your Play Ethic by Hannah Kane on Scoutie Girl.

9. Becoming the Person You Were Meant to Be: Where to Start by Anne Lamott. One of my favorite quotes from this is “We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.” Amen.

10. The 3 Most Important Questions by Vishen Lakhiani. Holy crap, this is gooooood. Watch it, do the practice, do it now.

11. Summer Manifesto. I love this idea, want to write one–way better idea than my summer to-do list.

12. 27 DOs + DON’Ts for being a badass woman from Justine Musk. Listen to this woman, she’s a badass.

13. Call Your Girlfriend Robyn/Erato cover by Lennon & Maisy Stella. I loved the original version of this song, but I loooove these girls. They were on the Today Show, or some similar morning show performing this week. I want them to come to my house and sing me to sleep every night.

14. Infusing Play into Mundane Tasks from Leo Babauta at Zen Habits. I like the way he thinks.

15. Joan Didion on Self-Respect on Brain Pickings.

16. A Girl and Her Room: Portraits of Teenage Girls’ Inner Worlds Through Their Bedroom Interiors on Brain Pickings.

17. This quote from Geneen Roth:

For some reason, we are truly convinced that if we criticize ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for a moment, that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love.

Amen.

18. Good advice for those attending the World Domination Summit with me (and hundreds of other people) in July.

  • A Story of Yes, from Andrea Scher on Superhero Journal, posted last year but still relevant, (she’ll be presenting again this year).

19. Live the Questions: Jacqueline Novogratz’s Advice to Graduates. Another commencement speech, another post from Brain Pickings.

20. Rilke on Embracing Uncertainty and Living the Questions on Brain Pickings.  Sorry for yet another, but this site was on fire this week.

21. Message from your Inner Pilot Light: When you choose to numb out – whether you numb out with TV, sugar, alcohol, drugs, smoking, or busyness – you dim my light. When you’re brave enough to face the truth, you’ll feel me glowing in the center of your chest, warm, steady, increasing in strength. Are you willing to face the truth without numbing out? With me, you’re safe to face anything. I’m right here.

22. A special offer from Susannah Conway. You already know how much I love this book, this woman, and this is a really great offer from her. Class starts tomorrow, so there’s still time!

22. Telling True Stories with Laurie Wagner, class starts on June 18th. I took the first round of this class, and highly and wholeheartedly recommend it.

Bonus something good: As someone who lived this era (the 80s) and loves a good musical almost more than anything, if this movie works, it will be so friggin’ awesome!

Something Good

1. I am still completely grooving on Yuna’s album today. I think in the last 48 hours, I’ve listened to it at least 20 times. Favourite Thing is another great track. It reminds me of Eric, my favorite.

It’s the way you drink your coffee
And how you have faith in me
And you love your cameras and you tell me that I’m good enough
Boy you bubble-wrap my heart

And all the things that I used to be afraid of
Suddenly it all disappeared

You remain my most favorite thing
And everywhere I go you’re here with me
You remain my most favorite thing
And all the time I keep you near me

The way you look out of the window
And you stay because you know
It wasn’t your intention but you caught how boats are crashing
Like the wave I’ve been waiting for

And all the things that I used to be afraid of
Suddenly it all disappeared

You remain my most favorite thing
And everywhere I go you’re here with me
You remain my most favorite thing
And all the time I keep you near me
The way you look out of the window

When I feel like the world has turn its back on me
When I feel all alone and I’m loving nobody
Oh, when the people wanted me to be somebody else
But you love me completely

You remain my most favorite thing
And everywhere I go you’re here with me
You remain my most favorite thing
And all the time I keep you near me
The way you look out of the window

2. The Fine Art of Limitation on Be More With Less. I have trouble (real, big trouble) with setting limits, so this piece was a good reminder. Courtney Carver promises “I want you to have everything you deserve, and by setting limits, you’ll discover that everything you deserve is available. A lovely life is yours for the asking.”

3. Mad with joy… from Carry it Forward. This is a great post from Christa, and starts with one of my new favorite quotes from Iris Murdoch: “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things with us.”

4. The Courage to Be Uncool from Owning Pink. Not sure if you’ve noticed this, kind and gentle reader, but I am not cool. I used to care, but now I am totally okay with it. Still, a post like this from Lissa Rankin, reminding me that it’s okay, more than okay, is really nice.

5. Neil Gaiman Speaks to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia Graduating Class. Oh my, how I love this man: his mind, his voice, his work. He is brilliant and funny and so utterly himself, and wants the rest of us to be the same.

6. This is Your Guarantee of Failure. Proceed anyway. It’s not a surprise that Danielle LaPorte is on fire with white hot truth, but holy wow and holy crap, I love this! I printed it out and have been reading it to myself from time to time. This is so important. Please read it. Every time I get to this part, I cry, and then I forgive myself.

There will be many, many things that you’ll wish you had said — fiercely loving and bravely tender things, righteously justice-rendering things that could change everything — but instead, you’ll fail to rise in the way you wanted to.

7. The DIY: Fastest Friendship Bracelet Ever. I’m not sure I’ll ever grow out of my love for these, and I feel the need to make some and give them out, tie them around the wrists of the women I love. Blame it on summer vacation, I suppose.

8. 60 Selfless Ways to Pay it Forward from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I like this much better than my to-do list.

9. So You Think You Can Dance clip. This makes me cry every time I watch it, and I have a huge crush on this girl. The way she moves, the way she is: beautiful.


10. An amazing lip dub marriage proposal. You may have already seen this, but if you haven’t, it’s pretty sweet. I love a good flash mob, and combining that with a marriage proposal?! The goodness just about kills me.

11. Creative Writing Prompts. Lots and lots of them.

12. What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.

13. Beating the Anxiety of Online Reading on ZenHabits by Leo Babauta. I needed the reminder, so thought you might too. But Leo, there’s just so much good stuff out there…

15. This quote from Cheri Huber, in honor of the two awesome yoga classes I’ve attended in the past 48 hours:

Practice offers us a lens through which we can examine suffering—what
causes it, why it happens, how it happens. It gives us the tools to tap into our authentic nature and to experience being lived by Life – present, whole, and joyful.