Category Archives: Christina Rosalie

Something Good

Image from Unsplash

Image from Unsplash

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

1. Savor: Daily Practices for a More Nourishing Holiday from Rachel Cole. Savor is six weeks of guided audio meditations and journal prompts to support you in being well-fed and centered this holiday season. As Rachel describes it, “Savor is about finding yourself in the small moments. It’s about tasting what’s already here. It’s about noticing the good and saying ‘thank you’ often. Savor is designed to help you find sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle that’s headed our way. Savor is, no surprise, about savoring your life.” At only $35, this would make a great holiday gift, for yourself or anyone else on your list. Disclaimer: I first started working with Rachel almost four years ago. Since then she’s been a guide, a teacher, a precious friend. Everything she does is magic, and this is going to be no exception.

2. Random Acts of Kindness Generator. This is such a great idea. Doing something nice, either directly or in secret, is such a mood lifter for everyone involved. I can imagine a homemade version too, a jar with slips of paper filled with different ideas. Just pick one and do it.

3. Problems of output are problems of input from Austin Kleon.

4. An important question posed by Brave Girls Club, “What is calling to you? What is the deepest, most true message that is calling to you?”

5. A Note from the Universe,

It’s easy to look around at all the people who already have what you want, notice how they differ from you, and then think that they are the “kind of people” for whom having what you want comes naturally. Whereas you are not, otherwise you’d have it too.

Very rational thinking, and a super way for non-adventurers to avoid responsibility, rest on the sidelines, and watch more TV.

Adventurers, on the other hand, Jill, understand that they are exactly the kind of people who should have the things they now want. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be blessed with wanting them.

6. This is about the time I chose not to die.

7. If you accept your body, does that mean you give up?, a recent and brilliant newsletter from Curvy Yoga and Anna Guest-Jelley.

8. Parenthood Is An Act Of Hostage Negotiation With A Broken Robot from Terrible Minds.

9. This Guy’s Reaction To Patti LaBelle’s Pie Is Priceless. This guy understands pie like I do.

10. Wisdom from Hans Hofmann, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Oh, snap.

11. It’s going to be okay, a really great, important and timely comic from The Oatmeal. “So get up, and help someone.” Also this video, “Runner. Cartoonist. Cake Lover. – A Seeker Story,” the story of Matthew Inman, creator of TheOatmeal.com.

12. Raising Imogen, “koala joey’s most adorable home video of all time.” Who knew baby koala’s were so stupid cute?

13. This Kid Should Work For Hallmark Because His Thank You Letters Are Spot On.

14. Buddhism, Bravery, Love and the Good Life, Lodro Rinzler on Good Life Project Radio. Lodro is one of my favorite teachers, and I always love Johnathan’s interviews. Jonathan posted on Facebook, about this interview, “What if meditation didn’t solve anything, it just let you see things better?”

15. Wisdom from Judith Lief, “To meditate, all you need are 3 things: a restless body, a wandering mind, and out-of-control emotions.”

16. Awkwarding is what brings us all together from The Bloggess. These tweets are so awesome.

17. On What People Think from Dani Shapiro.

18. This 17-Year-Old Cat Is The Laziest Internet Star In Japan on Bored Panda.

19. Deciding How and When to Quit, a brilliant post from Jen Louden about the difference between default quitting and compassionate quitting, which includes a really great set of prompts to help one contemplate how to decide what to do. “But in the end, it comes down to this: You must be willing to look yourself in the mirror and ask, ‘Am I suffering enough to do something about it?’ or ‘Am I hungry enough for something more to take this risk?'”

20. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

We make a lot of mistakes. If you ask people whom you consider to be wise and courageous about their lives, you may find that they have hurt a lot of people and made a lot of mistakes, but that they used those occasions as opportunities to humble themselves and open their hearts. We don’t get wise by staying in a room with all the doors and windows closed.

20. Wisdom from Seth Godin, Certain failure and Your progress report.

21. How to make your website credible from Paul Jarvis.

22. #naphopomo day 10: do not let the adorable nose fool you on Chookooloonks. Oh Karen, I feel your pain/joy.

23. Five Days of Mandala Magic, from Julie Gibbons, “a free online workshop that demonstrates how, with a little know-how + some tools + techniques, you can create beautiful mandalas anytime you feel called – even if you’re not an accomplished artist!”

24. Is Fat Stigma Making Us Miserable? Spoiler alert: YES.

25. 16 Stunning Works Of Origami Art To Celebrate World Origami Day on Bored Panda.

26. Riverside 433 sq. ft. guest cottage is a roomy floating retreat. So dreamy.

27. 30 Simple Ways to Take Care of Yourself Over the Holidays from Be More With Less, a great list for any time of year, not just the holidays.

28. A Healthy Way to Aspire to a Better Life on Zen Habits. The title says it all.

29. money talks with Laurie Wagner. I love this column. I love Sherry, the lovely host. And you know I love Laurie.

30. Wisdom from Jonathan Fields, “Never allow the false urgency of others to dictate where and when you place your attention.”

31. In April 2013, Diana Kim spotted her father for the first time in decades. “He was living on the street, disheveled and unkempt, and didn’t have a clue who she was.”

32. The fallacy of ‘go big or go home’: redefining ambition from Esmé Wang.

33. Organizers seat woman behind Trump ‘because she’s black’ — so she silently protests by reading her book.

34. I Quit My Job To Be A Travel Writer, And Now I’m Broke And Unemployed. I think it’s so important to have these narratives to balance out the “do what you love and the money will come” ones.

35. Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep is Your Love (Cover) by Daniela Andrade x KRNFX. The only thing better than a good song is a good cover of that song, and Daniela just might be the queen of covers.

36. The Roar Sessions: Lindsey Mead.

37. 9 Ways Generous People View the World Differently from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

38. A Thanksgiving Reader, a new tradition, offered by Seth Godin.

39. Cultivating Wonder, “4 weeks full of lessons, prompts, interviews + secret missions to grow your sense of wonder” from Andrea Scher, pay what you can. It starts today, but you can still sign up. Again, a disclaimer: Andrea is the reason this blog exists, and I adore everything she does — guide, teacher, and precious friend.

40. Social Media isn’t the point. Storytelling is. “8 things you can (and should) do to become an effective storyteller for your brand” from Christina Rosalie.

Something Good

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

This is a very special Something Good list. Starting today, I am partnering with Wanderlust to share my list with a larger audience. Their tagline is “find your true north,” and they answer the question “what is Wanderlust?” this way,

a strong or irresistible desire to Travel • Practice Yoga • Listen to Music
Eat Well • Be Green • Appreciate Art
and create a community around mindful living.

I’ll still be publishing the full list here every Monday morning, but from now on there will also be a shorter, specially curated list posted on Wanderlust — a collection of my favorites from the longer list, links best suited to their audience and mission. If you clicked over from Wanderlust today, welcome! And if you are already one of my kind and gentle readers, welcome back!

1. 100 Poems – 100 Days, a new project from an amazing artist, (blogger, author, photographer, and painter), Christina Rosalie. She’s committed to writing 100 original poems in 100 days, posting a new one each day. Her latest painting is also brilliant.

2. Motivation < Action from Paul Jarvis, sent out in his Sunday Dispatches email. “Motivation, even for mundane things like exercise or writing more, is theoretical. Whereas action is tangible.” This piece is a great argument for taking one tiny step rather than making a big plan. He also posted a great piece on Medium, Master working for yourself without crushing your soul, which he summarizes this way,

People that really do well working for themselves don’t do it for the money fights on their private yachts or the standing ovations (on Facebook), they do it because they want to add value for others while leading life as they see fit.

3. I’m Too Old for This on The New Yorker. Author Dominique Browning considers a new mantra, “A goodbye to all that has done nothing but hold us back.”

4. Why I Got Rid of My Teacher’s Desk. I love this, but I had to admit all I keep thinking was “where are you going to keep your stuff?”

5. The Size We’re Supposed to Be from Dances with Fat. “It doesn’t matter what size someone is or why they are that size, it’s absolutely none of anybody else’s business, and everybody deserves to be treated with basic human respect.” Amen. Ragen also gives some good advice in another post, When Good Friends Post Bad Fat Jokes, advice that seems like it would be relevant to dealing with a whole host of offenses.

6. Paramedic’s angry Facebook post about “burger flippers” getting $15/hr goes viral.

7. Walking vs. Elliptical Machine, Redux. Which is better? Read this and find out, (sort of).

8. Which Character Strengths Are Most Predictive of Well-Being? Read the answer in this post on Scientific American. **Spoiler alert** “The single best predictor of well-being was gratitude.”

9. 28 of the best things I ever did — from my bedroom to my business, a list worth contemplating from Danielle LaPorte. What would be on your list?

10. CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret. I don’t CrossFit train because I’m afraid of the yelling and crashing of weights and loud music, because of all the noise, but this seems like another reason to take care.

11. Wisdom from PattyMara Gourley, “May my art be my medicine. May my medicine be my art.”

12. Help! I Have a Weird Relationship with Food, But Is It an Eating Disorder? An important discussion about an important issue on Everyday Feminism, which suggests, “And the problem is that we’ve standardized disordered eating to the point that we think it’s normal.”

13. Why Does Anyone Do Yoga, Anyway? on Psychology Today. “The health benefits are very real. But few understand how it affects the mind.”

14. Why diets don’t actually work, according to a researcher who has studied them for decades. I think I shared this when it first came out, but it’s definitely worth a repeat read.

15. Why Norway’s Prison System Is So Successful. **Spoiler alert** “The country relies on a concept called ‘restorative justice,’ which aims to repair the harm caused by crime rather than punish people. This system focuses on rehabilitating prisoners.”

16. A Prayer for Writers & Creatives from Jennifer Louden, a wonderful reworking of “metta” or lovingkindness practice. It makes me think of all the other ways we might use this practice, the other special, specific populations we could offer it to more directly.

17. Starving Is A Terrible Condition For Making Art from Terrible Minds. Chuck Wendig debunks the myth and gives some really great advice.

18. A whole bunch of wisdom from Seth Godin: The squeaky wheel problem (an issue certainly worth considering), and Make three lists (a great practice when starting a new project), and The other kinds of laziness (so important), and The illusion of control (oh, snap!).

19. Wisdom from a Note from the Universe, “Always listen to your doubts…Not just because they might teach you of your fears, but because, sometimes, they might teach you of your wisdom.”

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You have the right to stand up for yourself. If you are being hurt, abused, manipulated, bullied or diminished by someone else, you have the right to stop it. You can be kind, wish everyone the best, and do what you can to be helpful, but that doesn’t mean you should ever allow someone to chip away at you. You are way too important. You have the right to protect yourself.

We must never allow others to abuse us where we are weak. We must not let others determine our worth, ever. We must not allow our hearts to be abused, manipulated or exploited.

We can be kind, but this does not mean that we need to allow everyone to the closest parts of our souls. We must guard the gates to our hearts and recognize that it is a true honor for anyone to ever come close to the deepest parts of us, and this honor should be reserved for a select few who only want the best for us and who love us exactly as we are. You have a right to stand up for yourself. You have a right to walk away. You have a right to go where the peace is.

and this,

Did you know that one of the keys to a happy and peaceful life is to do your best to leave a mark of goodness wherever you go? Here’s a tip to big and little pieces of random and beautiful happiness:

-Whenever you can, if it is in your power, leave people, places, and situations better than you found them.

-Do your best when you are working, whether or not you are publicly rewarded for it (the best rewards are the internal ones, when you can feel so good deabout your work)

-Be kind and as generous as possible to others, whether or not they notice or appreciate it

-Make your surroundings more beautiful than you found them, whether or not it is your responsibility.

This is especially helpful and wonderful if your brain wants to do the opposite because you have been hurt by someone or something. It heals your whole soul if what your brain really wants to do is ‘stick it to’ someone, but YOU choose to joyfully give. The very best thing you can ever, ever do for your heart and your soul is to leave people, places, and situations better than you found them, even if those things did they best they could to leave you in a not-so-desirable position. YOU have the power to turn it all around and make it beautiful again.

20. 8 Ways to Get Ready for Your Wild and Precious Life on Be More With Less. Courtney is so good at distilling the truth down to the simplest seed. In this post, she ends with,

“While we can’t be certain about how our lives will unfold, when we decide to be mindful about how we spend our time, and the people we want to be, we have a shot at not only knowing the answer to this lovely question, but living it too.”

21. Good stuff from Allowing Myself: Do Your Work, in which Justine makes the distinction between her job and her work, and trust, where she tells the story of her new tattoo, “I contemplated it for so long, it’s like something snapped into place, like it’s always been there, it’s just now I can see it.”

22. Manifesto of the Brave & Brokenhearted: The Rising Strong Book Trailer from Brene’ Brown.

23. 3 Small Discipline Habits You Can Train from Zen Habits, great advice and a gentle approach to finding a little more discipline in our lives, “Three simple skills that can be turned into habits with repeated practice.”

24. in the garden, August 7 on SouleMama. Her garden updates are so dreamy. I want to go to there.

25. Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant, a repeat share, but there’s still a need, so much money left to raise. Andres just turned four last week, and I hope he gets much, much older, as well as healthy.

26. Don’t Fucking Touch Me. *sigh*

27. 40 Questions that Will Quiet Your Mind from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I don’t think this is the right title for this post. It should be “40 questions that will prompt a bunch of contemplation, thinking, and brain activity.” They’d be really great conversation starters or journal prompts.

28. Take Back Your Life, wisdom from Rachel Cole. “Your time, energy, and money are precious precious resources. They are the stuff that either makes or wastes a meaningful life.”

29. Awakening connections from Kirsten Akens. I finally got to meet Kirsten in person, when we attending the event she talks about in this post. It’s so great to see her getting clear about who she is, what she has to offer.

30. so, about that daring way workshop on Chookooloonks. Seriously, Karen and Brene’ are a super duo. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.

31. money talks with amy tingle on Mabel Magazine.

32. Good stuff shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: a gallery of Ebola survivors, and a rustic country retreat (I want to go to there), and Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence.

33. 5 Tweets That Sum Up Why People Are Upset About Stonewall, “why Stonewall misses the mark and why people are signing the GSA Network’s petition for a boycott of the film.”

34. Creative Man Builds a Feline Feeding Machine That Requires His Cat to Hunt for His Dinner. What a wonderful life this cat has.

35. Earth View: A Curated Selection of the Most Striking Satellite Images Found on Google Earth, an amazing set of pictures.

36. Artist Buys Billboard Advertising Time to Display Art Instead of Ads on Massachusetts Highways. “Created as a set of billboards along two Massachusetts highways, ‘Healing Tool’ is a temporary public art installation by artist Brian Kane produced to temporarily relieve stress and promote introspection during one’s monotonous daily commute.”

37. Why You Need To Try Japanese Forest Bathing. “Inspired by Buddhist and Shinto practices, forest bathing naturally engages you in non-directed attention and mindfulness meditation.”

38. Wisdom from Shunryu Suzuki, “The only way you can endure your pain is to let it be painful.”

39. How Long You Can Freeze Everything, In One Chart. As summer winds down and my garden stops producing and fruit season ends, this will help as I consider what I might save.

40. We Need to Talk About Amy Winehouse’s Eating Disorder and Its Role In Her Death.

41. New Suicide Hotline Dedicated to Trans People Now Open for Calls.

42. Seven-Year-Old Black Belt Is Breakout Star in Gender Equality Ad From ANZ.

43. Centuries-old bonsai that survived atomic bomb gets honored 70 years later.

44. What To Do When You See Someone Being Harassed. Really good advice on Medium.

45. 16 Graphs That Will Help You Understand Your Highly Sensitive Friends So Much Better.

46. My township calls my lawn ‘a nuisance.’ But I still refuse to mow it. “Manicured lawns are ruining the planet.”

47. The Enmity Remained: Negating the Possibility of Change by Sharon Salzberg. Her regular column at On Being is worth following. Because this,

I think it is true that in the reality of our lives some might wish to harm us. As wise human beings, we should try to avoid them or do anything we can do to null their power. I’ve heard of the Dalai Lama, for example, telling a friend with a mentally ill mother who had in the past tried to harm her to open her heart completely to her mother and offer her lovingkindness and compassion — but from a distance. That was a stunner. The Dalai Lama advising clear boundaries and self-protection? Well yes, but from a place of wisdom and compassion, rather than hatred and disdain. The wisdom and compassion provide their own powerful energy and give us strength to act.

Something Good

Peach bread, etc.

Peach bread, etc.

1. Brave Girl University. This is going to be seriously awesome, y’all. I’m talking epic.

2. Unfurl – Chapter One. Meghan Genge is sharing audio recordings of her new book, one chapter per week. I long for the comfort of curling up and being read to, so this is such a gift.

3. Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism, Unconscious Racism, and Silent Racism. This started yesterday, but you can still sign up. Patti is putting this together and offering it for FREE, but if you think it is important, even if you can’t take part any other way, you can help fund this good work.

4. Master working for yourself without crushing your soul by Paul Jarvis.

5. Good stuff from Seth Godin: What is your art? and Yes!, please and thank you.

6. Good stuff from Zen Habits: Worried About What You’re Not Doing and A Brief Guide to Quitting a Bad Habit.

7. Defining What Works by Rachel Cole.

8. Good stuff from Chookooloonks this was a good week list: the importance of plating.

9. July, in the kitchen from SouleMama. This post makes me hungry.

10. 13 Things I Learned in 13 Years of Teaching My Taos Writing Retreat from Jen Louden.

11. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “The people who really matter in your life don’t care what you wear, what you drive or where you live…..they love that beautiful heart of yours.”

12. The Good Questionnaire on A Design So Vast.

13. When you’re done fighting for it. The upside of finally giving up from Danielle LaPorte.

14. Fear Is Fucking Us All Up from Terrible Minds.

15. Good stuff on Rita’s Notebook: Are you already doing the thing you’re meant to do? and Antidote to the August blues.

16. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson:

A spiritual practice ought to be something that can sustain you until your last breath. THAT is why I make time, every damn day, to sit humbly at the feet of trees (or the sea or mountains or the desert, wherever I am) under whatever sky we are given, and just be held. Stilled. I get a lot of “must be nice to have free time” messages from people who miss the subtle but vital distinction: ALL my time is free–mine, and mine to inhabit. That I choose to bow daily at the feet of something beautiful does not mean my schedule is easy or open. I could lament and bitch and do my best to keep up with the Jonesing neuroses of our world and post about that. But I try to carry that practice and beauty into the busyness of my days and remember that I am, in fact, free. My opinions, tastes, abilities, worries, desires, obligations, and interests may shift with time and circumstance. But I think I am always going to want to be held by something bigger than me. And so I practice that daily. No matter what. And you know what? I have not regretted that practice. Not once.

17. Boy Who Couldn’t Afford Books Asks Mailman For Junk Mail To Read; Mailman Responds Spectacularly.

18. Support Isabel in Interfaith Education and Service. Isabel blogs at Lists and Letters, and just started writing an advice column, Dear Bare Heart.

19. 30+ Resources to Help White Americans Learn About Race and Racism.

20. Of Lions and Men: Mourning Samuel DuBose and Cecil the Lion.

21. Day #18: 7/28/2015: WYSIWYG Ten Lessons from Project Awake 365.

22. Find out how I respond to “Are you a saver or a spender?” in this post on Mabel Magazine’s blog.

23. Burg Story from Amy McCracken. The best and worst story e v e r.

24. Jane Goodall Speaks Out About Slain Lion.

25. 6 Reasons People Claim Waving the Confederate Flag Isn’t Racist – Squashed.

26. How White People Sound When They “Disagree” With PoC About Racism.

27. 13 Graphs That Will Speak To You If You Suffer From Anxiety.

28. Wisdom from Erica Cook, “I’m not interesting in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it.”

29. Tig Notaro Boyish Girl Interrupted – Tease (HBO). Can’t wait to see this.

30. Social Media and Ambient Intimacy from Jason Silva.

31. Wisdom from Christina Rosalie on Instagram,

Love is why we are here, of course.
this life, begging us
to notice it’s wildness,
its unpredictable, yet
certain briefness and wonder.

32. The obesity era.

32. May You Know the Fearlessness of an Open Heart by Sharon Salzberg.

Something Good (The Longest List Ever)

image by Eric

image by Eric

I know some of you will be sad about this, but there won’t be a Something Good list next week. I’m taking a week off to visit my family in Oregon, which means I’m taking a week off from blogging. I hope that even without my list, something good will find its way to you, kind and gentle reader. If not, this particular list is long enough, it might take two weeks to get through it all. 🙂

1. I Was A Single Mom With $6 To My Name. Here’s How I Turned My Life Around.

2. Why I Am No Longer A “Vegetarian.”

3. Artist Turns Old Wooden Doors Into Giant Street Art Murals.

4. 7 Reasons Why Life Is Better Without Booze. The author’s website looks pretty great too: “Soberistas.com, a website which brings together a totally non-judgmental community of like-minded people who’ve either kicked the booze or who are looking for help in doing so.”

5. Dear Human: Take Care of Yourself.

6. Awkward Everyday Lives Of Animals By Simpsons Illustrator Liz Climo.

7. Supreme Court Ruling and Christian Outrage.

8. Questions to ask before giving up, (a PDF). Not sure where this originally came from, but thanks to Jessica for sharing.

9. 13 Signs You’re Wasting Life But You Can’t Admit It.

10. Who’s burning black churches? Arsonists hit at least 3 Southern congregations in the last 7 days.

11. Native Children Are Facing A ‘National Emergency.’ Now Congress Is Pushing To Address It.

12. How Your “Someday” List Reveals Who You Really Are And What You Really Want To Do.

13. 10 Mantras to Inspire Your Daily Work.

14. A Former Pro Snowboarder Has Built An Incredible Off Grid Tiny Home.

15. Many in Nation Tired of Explaining Things to Idiots. 🙂

16. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life, 7 Little Habits that Stole Your Happiness Yesterday, and 15 Reminders You Need When You Feel Like Giving Up.

17. The rejectionists from Seth Godin.

18. My Cancer Pt. II, Medical Fat Shaming Could Have Killed Me.

19. Salt Soap, a cartoon from Lucy Bellwood.

30. Yoga, Bikinis, Facebook And Fat: How A NC ‘Yogi’ Is Reshaping Body Image Using Social Media.

31. What I Learned at Cement Bluff on Rowdy Kittens.

32. How Knitting Made Me A Better Writer.

33. A bunch of wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

It should be the easiest thing of all, shouldn’t it? But it isn’t easy to be true to yourself. Sometimes it is a very lonely road, and a very bumpy road. There are days when we all want to look around at what everyone else is doing and then just do the same so we can go with that flow and just fit in. At least it wouldn’t feel so lonely. Or would it???

You may have tried to fit in, and tried again, and then still again. You may have even “toned it down” enough for a while that you actually DID fit in, but it made your heart hurt and you just couldn’t betray yourself for very long.

If every funky little daisy in the flower garden spray painted herself red so she could hang out with the roses, the world wouldn’t have any variety at all, and what a sad sad sad life for that sunshiny, spunky free-spirited daisy. She was born to be a daisy, after all.

And guess what? the other flowers want her to be a daisy, too. Daisies are WONDERFUL. Be courageous enough to boldly live your own truth. You are so very very very spectacular. Just BE YOU.

And,

One of the worst mistakes we can ever make is to wait and wait and wait for there to be the “right amount” or the “right people” or the “right person” or the “right circumstances” to start living the life that is calling to us. No matter where we are or what we have, there is always a way to get headed in the right direction…and to just begin.

So, dear friend, begin today. Begin with something big or begin with something small, but begin. Begin with one step. And then just take another and another and another and another. If you are waiting for the perfect time to start, the perfect time is now. If you think the time has passed and it’s too late, it is not. Begin today. We really just have to decide that we are going to make something happen, and somehow we will be able to pull together what we need to do it.

As the old Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago — the second best time is today.” Do what you can with what you have right now, today. Begin.

And,

If you’ve felt that you have to do more to “earn” help or comfort or blessings….if you’ve struggled through to prove that you can do it on your own and run yourself into the ground before you ask for help…if you are so busy with your head down, plowing through and suffering…that you simply fail to notice things that would ease your pain that are right in front of you…

…then it’s time, sweet friend, to look around and see what is there to make things better. Notice beauty, good books, music, helpful people, generous offers and random acts of grace. When something shows up, open yourself up to it. You don’t have to earn it, you don’t have to do anything to “deserve” it. Simply noticing it, welcoming it, and saying thank you is enough…

You are worthy of comfort, blessings and help.

34. Good stuff from SF Girl by Bay, homestead seattle and one very fine site: de dujes.

35. Questions for Diet Companies from Dances with Fat.

36. Thoughts Become Things from Rachel Cole.

37. Fat Girl Job Clarification. Also from Brittany Gibbons, “Once I learned to like my body, I cared more about what I put into it.”

38. Good stuff on Christina Rosalie’s blog, Like magic, and To the coast, and Summer is here.

39. ‘The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning.’

40. Jon Stewart doesn’t give a damn anymore: Why the “Daily Show” host has never been more watchable.

41. After Charleston, how a Buddhist outlook can help.

42. A Professor Crowdsources a Syllabus on the Charleston Shootings.

43. Maya Rudolph Parodies Rachel Dolezal on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

44. A Day in the Life of a Modern Poet from Maya Stein.

45. Dear Sugar, Episode 14: How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

46. the day after the longest day of the year from Amanda Palmer.

47. Please Stop Being a Good White Person (TM).

48. This is my house from The Bloggess.

49. Dispatch From Charleston: The Cost Of White Comfort.

50. Here’s Kalief Browder’s Heartbreaking Research Paper On Solitary Confinement.

51. After a Stillbirth, a Silent Delivery Room.

52. How Victoria’s Secret Swimsuits Look On Everyday Women.

53. See How The Most Celebrated Female Bodies In Classic Paintings Would Look With A Photoshop Slimdown.

54. Yes, you’re a racist… and a traitor.

55. I choose to be fat.

56. Addictions to Powerlessness and Becoming Swanlike from Rachael Maddox.

57. Good stuff from The Queso,, Confederate Flags and the South, and Summer Reading Recommendations from an Award-Winning Author and Storyteller, Katherine Center.

58. The Black Feminist’s Guide to the Racist Sh*t That Too Many White Feminists Say.

59. ‘Gone with the Wind’ should go the way of the Confederate flag.

60. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

Loving-kindness is the essence and nature of the whole world and of every being. To see and experience this is to realize who we are. We can all observe that, if someone is in a quiet, undisturbed place—for example, in nature—he or she will become more peaceful. The more peaceful that person becomes, the more joyful, wise, and helpful they will be to others. That is a clue that our human nature in its normal, undisturbed state is not violent or harmful, but loving.

61. How I Quit My Job and Became a Writer.

62. A black man walks into Silicon Valley and tries to get a job…

63. Chapter 23: Forever And Ever.

64. The 30 Day Journal Project, shared in Jen Louden’s post, How Journaling Can Change Your Life or Strait-Jacket Your Creativity.

65. 10 Things to Look Forward to on the Other Side of Busyness from Be More With Less.

66. trigger warning: we are human on lists and letters.

67. money talks with alison luterman.

68. In Her Room: Susannah Conway.

69. Transforming White Fragility Into Courageous Imperfection.

70. What to Do When Your Heart Doesn’t Know What it Wants.

71. Something as simple as smiling can help curb racial bias, study suggests.

72. Why I’m Walking Away From A Profession I Love: Losing Faith, Burning Out & Moving On.

73. No Need for Words.

74. Wisdom from singer Madjo, “In order to create, you first have to exit the darkness. Seize those first notes and let them run wild. Accept that you won’t master them right away.”

75. You are a grown up. Do what you want.

76. Episode 21 | Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

77. Wisdom from George Bernard Shaw, “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”

78. Opening the Question of Race to the Question of Belonging.

79. In which I share 4 reasons why I am NOT against same-sex marriage, an older post that’s still relevant.

80. Interview Someone You Love About Life, Questions from Brendon Burchard.

81. 10 Examples of Straight Privilege.

82. Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person…

83. President Obama Delivers Eulogy at Charleston Shooting Funeral of Clementa Pinckney. You can read the full transcript here.

84. Wisdom from Gavin Newsom,

The unsung heroes are the millions and millions of people across this country that engaged in conversations. And many of those one-on-one conversations made people think twice about their original positions. At the end of the day it was nothing more than the aggregation of those conversations and the courage of people to stand up to even their parents, to say, “No Dad, you’re wrong on this—it’s wrong to deny Uncle Bob the ability to get married; it’s your brother. How dare you subjugate him to second-class status?” It was literally those conversations that changed public opinion, gave politicians more courage, and brought us to where we are today.

85. What Happened To The 9-Year-Old Smoking In Mary Ellen Mark’s Photo?

86. I once led an ex-gay ministry. Here’s why I now support people in gay marriages.

87. An interesting conversation: Here Come the Hippies: Oglala Lakota Tell Rainbow Family to Behave in Sacred Black Hills, and Letter to the Editor: Rainbow Family Member Responds to Readers of Indian Country Today

88. Need A Wall Built? Why Settle For Boring Bricks When You Could Have This!

89. ‘Yoga for Larger Bodies’ Animated Documentary is a Wonderful Story of Healing and Connection.

90. A 30-Second Guide to How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You.

91. Ten Days in June.

92. The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath & a Narcissist. Been there, done that.

93. A blessing from Ronna Detrick, “Sometimes hanging on by even a thread to the tenderest and tiniest inkling of your own value, beauty, and worth changes everything. Don’t let go.”

94. Legislated morality, civil rights, and the Christian response to marriage equality.

95. Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant.

96. Online Is IRL from Terrible Minds.

97. Award-Winning Short Animation About A Lost Soul Meeting Death.

98. Tig, the documentary. I cannot wait to see it!

99. Amy Winehouse Documentary Lets Nobody Off the Hook. Another documentary I can’t wait to see.

100. Creative Portraits Of Artist’s Hands Exploring Different Art Forms.

101. Ease and Routine on Allowing Myself.

102. Miniature Hand Thrown Pottery by Jon Alameda.

103. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s message to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Day of Rest

The Heart of Things by Christina Rosalie

The Heart of Things by Christina Rosalie

I bought this piece during Christina Rosalie’s recent Celebrate Spring! studio sale. She’s one of my favorite writers and I adore her art. I’d tried in past studio sales to buy something, but I was never quick enough. By the time I would look at what she was offering, find my favorite, someone else had already claimed it. When I saw this one — the bird in flight, the quote on the bottom, the colors — I knew it was my favorite, but it was listed first so I thought for sure it would already belong to someone else. I was so surprised when I clicked on it and saw that no one had claimed it yet. I refreshed the page a few times because I couldn’t believe it. Once it sunk in that no one else had picked it, I left a comment: Me please. ❤

“Magic through the heart.” I love that so much. I asked Christina what kind of bird it is, but she hasn’t told me yet, and I’m glad. I guessed it’s a sparrow, with that little body and the shape of its head, but I’ve never seen a blue one. I did some research this morning to see if it might be a real sparrow or simply an artistic representation, or another bird altogether. First I searched for blue birds, then for blue sparrows, and what I found is a sweet little mystery. There shouldn’t be blue sparrows, and yet they’ve apparently been spotted in both Australia and Canada — but no one can explain them. I found a few articles about the mystery, Blue sparrow mystery: Unique bird confounds experts and Brown Bird Blue: Unique, Never-Before-Seen Color Mutation Amazes Experts and The Riddle of the Blue Sparrow…, along with a few pictures.

The world is such a magic, mysterious place. We think we know, but we don’t know anything, can’t explain how such things can happen or exist. Simply by paying attention, noticing, being curious and patient, you discover the most interesting things. Sometimes it’s a thing entirely new, like a bird the color of the ocean that no one can explain, and other times it’s remembering, like hearing the sound of the birds in the early morning of spring and realizing for the first time how quiet the mornings had been all winter — either way, it feels like waking up.

Something Good

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

1. Feast with Rachel Cole. I can’t wait to get started. I’m so ready.

2. Transformation, and Against Fearlessness, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

3. happy 10th birthday, 37days! from Patti Digh.

4. The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur from The Atlantic.

5. Uncertainty is not the same thing as risk from Seth Godin.

6. Swallowing your words, paying rent in hell, and maintaining appearances. Why we make (unhealthy) compromises from Danielle LaPorte.

7. Universal Letter Writing Week: January 8 – 14, 2015 hosted by Alexandra Franzen.

8. Wisdom from Kavita Ramdas,

We need more women that are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.

9. Take A Look Inside This Luxury, 280 Square Foot ‘Tiny House’ In Oregon. And, This Gorgeous Zen-Like Tiny House Spans Generations.

10. Wisdom from Curvy Yoga.

11. YOU Are Not Your Food Plan from Sue Ann Gleason, an older post that is worth another look.

12. Savor from Just Lara, also an older post that is worth a read.

13. Diet Culture: An Introduction & Condemnation. Word.

14. 2014: The year in review from Susannah Conway.

15. Roundup: Books for the soul from The Chicago Tribune. I especially like the part about Anne Lamott.

16. 2015 Resolution For Writers: Be Big (And Then, Be Small) on Terrible Minds.

17. Six ways of compassionate living, (also known as the six Paramitas), wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Generosity. Giving as a path of learning to let go.
Discipline. Training in not causing harm in a way that is daring and flexible.
Patience. Training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed. If waking up takes forever, still we go moment by moment, giving up all hope of fruition and enjoying the process.
Joyful enthusiasm. Letting go of our perfectionism and connecting with the living quality of every moment.
Meditation. Training in coming back to being right here with gentleness and precision.
Prajna (or transcendent wisdom). Cultivating an open, inquiring mind.

18. A wonderful Zen koan: Student: “I’m reaching for the light, please help me.”
Teacher: “Forget about the light. Give me the reaching.”

19. Learning To Love Your Life, As It Is, from Mara Glatzel.

20. The 4 Things I Learned On A 10-Day Silent Meditation Retreat on Thought Catalog.

21. I Come to This Year, a poem from Jonathan Fields.

22. A touch of joy for your New Year from Jamie Greenwood.

23. A wonder-filled new year from Christina Rosalie.

24. New Year’s Wishes and gifts from Neil Gaiman.

25. New Year, Not-New Me by Stacy Morrison.

26. Bad Luck of Random Mutations Plays Predominant Role in Cancer, Study Shows. Next time I hear someone say stress or using plastic containers or eating dairy causes cancer, instead of punching them in the face I’ll give them the link to this. (Confession: having lost loved ones to cancer, it makes me so mad when I hear anyone trying to assign blame solely to the choices people make — even though I understand they do it to feel safe because it would mean all they have to do to avoid the hell that is cancer would be to make the “right” choices, because it would mean we can control what happens to us).

27. On becoming silent… from Erica Staab.

28. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: My morning routine and How to read more.

29. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

I’d spent so many years believing that when I lost weight, I would turn into a different person — an easygoing, thick-haired, long-legged, Angelina Jolie type — that it took me awhile to get used to the thinner version of the same old me. But then I realized that I had a life that no one else could have. I stopped writing poetry (which I was terrible at) and started writing what only I could write — my books about emotional eating from a personal perspective. When I gave up wanting to have a life that wasn’t my own, I was able to grow into the life that was already mine, waiting for me to see, inhabit, and live it.

Try this experiment: Instead of waiting to be thin to be happy, try being happy right now. Live as if you were already thin, as if you liked yourself, as if you chose to have the life you have right now.

My bet is that you will discover the real It thing: the riches of your own life that were yours all along.

30. Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying on The Rumpus. Heartbreaking, but so beautifully written and honest — the best kind of writing.

31. Gracias a La Vida (Cover) by Daniela Andrade. Such beautiful lyrics.

32. 6 Quotes & Images to Inspire Simplicity from Be More With Less.

33. Photo Doggies for Anthony, a really easy way to send someone who needs it some love.

34. Tweeting my way through the Himalayas by Paul Jarvis.

35. A Tragic Death Leads to a Nonprofit to Help Rescue Stray Pine Ridge Dogs. I love Pine Ridge kids. I love Pine Ridge dogs. I love helping both. Jayla Marie Rodriguez died on my birthday. This breaks my heart, but gives me a way to help, and I’m grateful for that.

36. 10 Ways to Say ‘No’ That Won’t Damage Business or Relationships.

37. Becoming One With Dharma by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Something Good

1. Feast, the latest and best from the amazing Rachel Cole. I can’t wait.

2. Anne Lamott on Grief, Grace, and Gratitude on Brain Pickings.

3. Growing out my grey hair. This is not brave.

4. A million invisible threads from Andrea Scher.

5. Office Hours with Austin Kleon, and writing advice from Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose

6. Fun stuff I’m doing on the blog in December: December Reflections with Susannah Conway and Reverb14 with Kat McNally.

7. Wisdom from Virginia Woolf (by way of Positively Present Picks),

It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

8. Overwhelmed & Rushed? Do a Stress Assess from Zen Habits, (also by way of Positively Present Picks).

9. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: How Highly Sensitive People Can Learn To Be Vulnerable, and Roasted Cabbage & Cauliflower Salad With Peanut Dressing, and Why You Can Be A Feminist & Still Struggle With An Eating Disorder.

10. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Are you allowed to exist?, and Be careful of your families!, and Why aim so small?

11. Hands, Soul, and the Crack in Everything from Guinevere Gets Sober.

12. Men And Women Were Asked Why They Really Divorced. Here’s What They Said from Huffington Post.

13. South American Stray Follows Extreme Racing Team and Wins Forever Home in Sweden.

14. Infographic: This Is More Or Less How Every Kind Of TV Show Plays Out.

15. My American Han.

16. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Self-Care for the Highly Sensitive Person, and Why I want to Delete Half of my Facebook Friends during a National Crisis.

17. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

Emotional eating is an attempt to avoid the absence (of love, comfort, knowing what to do) when we find ourselves in the desert of a particular moment, feeling, situation. In the process of resisting the emptiness, in the act of turning away from our feelings, of trying and trying again to lose the same twenty, fifty, eighty pounds, we ignore what could utterly transform us. But when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we evoke that in us that is not a story, not caught in the past, not some old image of ourselves. We evoke divinity itself. And in doing so, we can hold emptiness, old hurts, fear in our cupped hands and behold our missing hearts.

18. How to be Ultra Spiritual (funny) – with JP Sears.

19. This Housekeeper Is In For A Surprise Once She Finds Out Whose House She Is Cleaning. This is why I would want to be super rich, so I could do this for people.

20. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

In yoga, we often study the obstacle vs. seeking a goal. So, if we want to understand gratitude and generosity, we must also be willing to look at what prevents us from being either.

21. Box Of Love Letters Reveals Grandfather Didn’t Escape WWII With ‘Everyone’ from NPR.

22. How to improve your gut health from Kris Carr.

23. Wisdom from Prince Ea,

People waiting on God to come back and fix the world. Truth is, God’s not coming back. God never left; he exists inside of every cell in your body. Only thing stopping you from realizing this … is the person you think you are.

24. On The Subject Of Cultivating Empathy on Terrible Minds.

25. Two new blog posts from Christina Rosalie, Patience is the destination and Say yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found.

26. nowhere to hide from Sas Petherick.

27. Wisdom from Jack Gilbert, “It is no surprise that danger and suffering surround us. What astonishes is the singing.”

28. The Holy Yes from Meghan Genge.

29. free your shooting star from Marc Johns.

30. Wisdom from Seth Godin: Stumbling your way to greatness, and The problem with problems, and The fear of freedom.

31. Truthbomb #677 from Danielle LaPorte, “Do you need to work that hard?” And Truthbomb #678, “Your freedom is good for all of us.”

32. Five ways to be more lucky in life from Life is Limitless.

33. Note from the Universe,

If you had chosen an easier path and been born knowing how beautiful, deserving, and important you truly are, Jill, by this time you’d probably be worth billions of dollars, have millions of friends, and own businesses around the world. But then… you wouldn’t be exactly who you now are. All in favor of keeping the Jill we know and love? It’s unanimous. Try it.

34. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel,

For years I was tethered there, believing my own voice when it repeated the refrain… be good be good be good.

That goodness meant being silent. It meant shaming my body. It meant ridicule, perfectionism, and strict guidelines. It meant softening myself, caging myself, making myself palatable. It meant rereading the status update seventeen thousand times, to make sure that it was as in offensive as possible. That goodness meant carefully curating my outward presentation to please others instead of curating the way that I want live when I am alone.

35. Good stuff from Be More With Less, Gratitude for 7 Things that are not on Sale and Tis the Season for More Joy & Less Clutter.

36. This Artist Spent 10 Years Carving A Giant Cave – Alone With His Dog on Bored Panda.

37. On Medium, 5 Things About Writing I Wish I’d Known 20 Years Ago and 5 Things About Writing I Wish I’d Known 20 Years Ago (Part 2).

38. Wisdom from Jamie Ridler, “I emptied a drawer thinking I was clearing out old clothes and realized I was coming face-to-face with my life and how it’s changed.”