Category Archives: Drop It and Eat

Something Good

1. Building a Mindful New Year Together, a FREE program in which “writers and Buddhist teachers Susan Piver and Lodro Rinzler have invited a collection of accomplished dharma teachers to guide you through the end of one year and into another with mindfulness and awareness, focused on the six priorities that will benefit you most as you lay the ground for what is to come.”

2. Realistic Slogans for Diet Companies from Dances with Fat.

3. What Nourishes You? from Ishita Gupta.

4. Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Badly from Laurie Wagner.

5. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

If we are serious about fostering world peace, we must first understand, generate, and experience real peace in our own mental stream. Awareness of peace is the foundation and goal of healing ourselves and the world. If our mind, or consciousness, is enjoying the awareness of peace, our everyday life will turn into a life of peace. Whatever we say will resound as the words of peace. Whatever we do will manifest as the expression of peace. Our mere presence will make the hearts of many blossom with happiness and harmony. Then we become one of the true peaceful members of society and a source inspiring others to true peace, too. Our every word and smile will send a genuine message of peace to others, and a true cycle of world peace and joy could be set in motion. So the inspiration of true world peace must take birth in our own heart.

6. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “We cannot be brave without being afraid.” Also this, “After we have done all that we can, sometimes it is time to just let something rest…and sometimes that even means to let it go for good.”

7. Truthbomb #691 from Danielle LaPorte, “Get clear on why you’re chasing what you’re chasing.”

8. Questions for Writers on A Design So Vast.

9. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what, the test for each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize. The spiritual journey is not about heaven and finally getting to a place that’s really swell. In fact, that way of looking at things is what keeps us miserable. Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in Buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly.

The very first noble truth of the Buddha points out that suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last—that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security. From this point of view, the only time we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and we can’t find anywhere to land. We use these situations either to wake ourselves up or to put ourselves to sleep. Right now—in the very instant of groundlessness—is the seed of taking care of those who need our care and of discovering our goodness.

10. this was a good week: introducing the thrive a/v journaling club! from Chookooloonks.

11. Courting the Monster In Your Head (and Under Your Bed), from Jonathan Fields,

“a beautiful example of what can happen when you commit to a process of discovery and openness and vulnerability. When you allow all the assumptions about what you should be to fall away and step into what you are. When you’re willing to share your voice with the world, hold yourself out to be on the one hand, judged, but on the other, embraced and lifted.”

12. A Holiday Joy Up Gift of Days from Hannah Marcotti.

13. Burning through the calories: where the carbs fit for weight management from Drop It and Eat.

14. Practicing Slowness & Being Present on Zen Habits.

15. Daily from Seth Godin.

16. A year in photos: the first half from Susannah Conway. So beautiful.

17. Talking Funny, Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais, Louis CK and Chris Rock on their creative processes, (shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list).

18. This quote, shared by Austin Kleon,

The author who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

19. Becoming Real, (shared on Positively Present Picks).

20. Dear Sugar, Episode 1: Meet The Sugars.

21. Raise your hand. Say yes. with Susannah Conway, just one brilliant episode of Tiffany Han’s amazing podcast.

22. Photographer Spends 20 Years Documenting How We All Dress Exactly Alike on Colossal.

23. How to Eat for Holiday Sanity on Eat to Love.

24. The Crossroads of Should and Must on Medium.

25. Wisdom from Hiro Boga,

The central paradox of our being is that we are both boundaried and boundless. Wholeness embraces the entire spectrum of our being, but most of us are more comfortable with one aspect of our selves than with the other.

If you love hanging out in boundlessness, you may find it hard to stay present, get things done or create sustainable success in your everyday life. If you hang out primarily in your boundaried self, your challenge might be a pervasive longing, the emptiness of a heart denied.

Something Good

0. It’s Margaret Atwood‘s birthday today. She’s one of my favorite authors. Why “0” instead of “1”? I am mentioning it as a way to sneak in that it’s also MY birthday today — Hello, 46! Another birthday, and sharing it with one of my favorites is something good for me.

1. Question #11, Courtney Putnam’s beautiful answer to my questions about grief.

2. Wisdom from Hafiz, “The place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.”

3. “A Writer Writes.” Tips for Living an Authentic Life. from Elephant Journal.

4. Good stuff from Be More With Less, One Little Simple Step and Seek out the Joy, (p.s. the “open-hearted Jill” she refers to in this post is ME!). Also from Courtney Carver, but on Medium, Plan to Be Surprised.

5. Good stuff from Seth Godin, Not a gift and Sure, but he’s our bully and Bullying is theft.

6. Wisdom from from David Whyte,

Why is it so difficult to take that first, necessary, close-in, courageous step to reclaiming our happiness in life? Perhaps, because taking that step leads to a kind of radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, often rehearsing the old story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us that do not wish to participate or have nothing now to offer are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma, and where the last fight occurs, a rear guard disbelief that this new, less complicated self, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead. It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer the story to be more complicated, our identities clouded by fear and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.

7. How animal adoption & rescue has transformed my life from Kris Carr. I have been loving following Buddy’s story, and Kris’s post here is further proof that when you rescue a dog, they rescue you right back.

8. Everyone’s Talking About What This Shy Photographer Did. When You See This, You’ll Understand Why on Viral Nova.

9. When fat things happen to good people. On being thin, fat, and your false assumptions. from Drop it and Eat.

10. Your Most Precious Thing. Shaking up your attachments. from Danielle LaPorte.

11. My adventures into healthy cooking from Kelly Rae Roberts. I like the idea of cooking a week’s worth of essentials so that when you are hungry, you can just eat, however I am one of those people who worries about eating something that’s been in the fridge for longer than 2-3 days. I need to ask Kelly Rae how she handles that.

12. morning thoughts on Doorways Traveler.

13. Bodies are NOT a Problem (Despite Some Yoga Pants’ Attempts to Make Us Think Otherwise) from Curvy Yoga. Anna also shared this great quote on Facebook from Sharon Salzberg,

As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: “What do I really need right now to be happy?” What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.

14. 420 Square Feet Apartment Miracle! I don’t plan on going this small, (our house is 1088), but there are some really good ideas in this space.

15. Wisdom from Phillip Moffitt,

It’s possible to transform what has been a hindrance in your life into a teacher of the heart. “Transform” does not mean to fix or make go away whatever trauma and scars you may be carrying from childhood; instead, you slowly develop a new relationship with your difficulty, such that it is no longer a controlling factor in your life. What may seem like an intractable wound may even become a point of inspiration and deep understanding for you.

16. From Your Inner Pilot Light,

Somewhere inside of you lies a healer. Regardless of what’s printed on your business card, you were put on this earth to help others, to love others, to make this world a better place. If you’re not yet sure how you might use your healing superpowers in service to the world, that’s probably a sign. You and I aren’t close enough yet. Will you be my BFF?

17. How To Help Typhoon Haiyan Survivors on Huffington Post and Avoiding despair when disaster hits: aid, advocacy, action. from Marianne Elliott. I always am looking to ease suffering, and in some cases choosing exactly how can feel overwhelming. I was thankful to have this help and thought you might be too.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “In any encounter, we have a choice: we can strengthen our resentment or our understanding and empathy. We can widen the gap between ourselves and others or lessen it.”

19. Announcing the New Improved Jonathan Fields (Just Add Water)
and Plan B from Jonathan Fields.

20. 11 Little Signs You’re Doing Just Fine from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

21. Self-Discipline in 5 Sentences on Zen Habits.

22. Welcome to Dinovember, on Medium. This is 14 kinds of awesome.

23. Wisdom from Kute Blackson,

It’s when you accept life as it is and as it isn’t that you bring yourself into the flow. When you no longer resist life then you can meet the moment powerfully.

And this,

When you acknowledge your deep intuition, and live in accord with your deepest truth, you become the truly powerful being that you are.

And this brainteaser,

Sometimes what you want is actually not what you REALLY want but what you think you want based on who you think you currently are.

And finally this,

The most powerful prayer is simply to SURRENDER. To give up what you think your goal and vision should look like, to give up your attachments to the form, and to open yourself to the highest good unfolding for all concerned.

24. Daily Rocks: your daily rock : be generous and your daily rock : just be.

25. Wisdom from Marianne Williamson,

The only way to gain power in a world that is moving too fast is to learn to slow down. And the only way to spread one’s influence wide is to learn how to go deep. The world we want for ourselves and our children will not emerge from electronic speed but rather from a spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then, and only then, will we create a world that reflects the heart instead of shattering it.

26. Be Your Own Beloved Mentoring, what looks to be a fabulous offering from Vivienne McMaster.

27. Meet Ippo, The Adorable Zonkey Who is Half Zebra, Half Donkey on Bored Panda. Oh, the cuteness.

28. The Season of Kindness…to Yourself from Brittany Herself. I’m in. Are you?

29. This hilarious parody of Gravity set in IKEA is spot on.

30. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

31. Where the Divine Show Up (It’s not where you’d expect) from Ronna Detrick. I’m not gonna lie, this one is blowing my mind a little bit.

32. Trying to describe your delightful new project — and drawing a blank? Start here. from Alexandra Franzen.

33. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Quinoa and Cranberries, a yummy looking recipe from Thug Kitchen.

34. Two good posts from 3x3x365, 11/13/13 and 11/15/13. Amy McCracken (in the third spot) is both one of my favorite people and one of my favorite writers, and Burg one of my favorite dogs.

35. A beautiful quote from Meade, “To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.”

36. Catch My Fall: The Healing from just Lara, who is anything but “just.”

37. I was so sad to learn DJ Cheb I Sabbah died. He made beautiful music. I bought his first album in 1999 and have loved him ever since, donated money to help pay for his cancer treatment last year, as he was a musician with no health insurance. NPR ran this piece on him after he passed, Remembering Cheb I Sabbah, DJ Who Built A New Musical World.

38. A heartbreaking post from Humans of New York.

39. Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, posting about something I know a lot about — canine therapy and amazement.

40. Just showing up from Christina Rosalie.

41. Dani Shapiro: Self-doubt is a writer’s best friend on Salon.

42. Winter Joy Retreat with Cigdem Kobu. This is the second year Cigdem has put together a program like this, (last year it was Reset. Revive. Restart.), and it’s looking like it’s going to be a yearly holiday tradition for me.

43. Wisdom Notes for a Well-Fed Holiday with Rachel Cole is becoming one of my other yearly traditions.

43. Dog tired! Adorable toddler and his ‘puppy brother’ Theo who nap together every day is stupid cute, (i.e. 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). I am a sucker for black and tan dogs, also for naps with cute boys. Here’s her post about adopting Theo, Wishes Granted: Theo and Beau, and here’s where you can follow her on Instagram for all the cuteness.

44. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: #naphopomo 2013, day 16: redone office (and a giveaway)! (I love getting to see people’s workspaces, and this one is particularly cosy), and #naphopomo 2013, day 18: cutting back, shooting forward.

45. Wisdom from Nadia Bolz-Weber, “But being good has never set me free the way truth has.”

46. This is why I am doing too much: people I adore come up with fun stuff like this, Kickin’ It Old Skool Blog-a-thon.

47. Help Me Attend Earth Activist Training, another one of my cousins trying to do good things.

48. Dog Songs: Mary Oliver on What Dogs Teach Us About the Meaning of Our Human Lives on Brain Pickings. My favorite line from this book is “A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing.”

Something Good (Part Two)

oaklandbayviewAs promised, here’s Part Two of the list.

1. What Work Do Millenials Want to Do? by Lodro Rinzler on Huffington Post.

2. 8 Truths to Getting Unstuck and Reclaiming Your Freedom from Deva Coaching.

3. Looking to start a yoga practice, need a teacher but don’t want to leave the house? Yogaglo might be worth checking out.

4. Taped Rai – Shadow of The Sun, such a beautiful song.

5. I’ve Gained Weight. Now What Am I Gonna Do? from Drop It and Eat.

6. How To Find Your Calling on MindBodyGreen.

7. The Best Examples of Street Art from 2012. I may have shared this before, but it’s cool enough to do it again.

8. 10 Inspiring Bookshops around the World. This is what’s known in my tribe as book porn.

9. Wisdom from Rumi, “I have been a seeker and still am, but I stopped asking books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul.”

10. Kid Recites Bible – Then Busts Out George Strait During Pre-School Graduation. Right on, little dude.

harbor11. Good stuff from Be More with Less: I Want to Punch Perfection in the Face and 6 Blogs to Inspire Simplicity and Minimalism.

12. Less Clicking, More Making from Marc Johns.

13. Feeling drrrrrained by emails, blogs, newsletters — the whole Internet? Take back your power. from Alexandra Franzen.

14. The Shero’s School for Revolutionaries with Jen Louden. Lots of wisdom from lots of good people, for free.

15. Important questions from Ram Dass,

Ask yourself: Where am I?
Answer: Here.

Ask yourself: What time is it?
Answer: Now.

Say it until you can hear it.

16. I Am A Yogi on MindBodyGreen.

portofsanfran17. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 7 Miserable Choices You Make Too Often and 9 Things You Do NOT Need to Be Happy.

18. ten-to-go: in the kitchen, on SF Girl by Bay. Beautiful and yummy kitchen items.

19. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “You have what you need.”

20. From Brave Girls Club,

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts…Your heart knows when it’s time, and you will have the strength to do it. And best of all, you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy…It may not look like the most glamorous life, but it is one filled with joy, peace, and harmony; one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion; one where worries are few, where long meaningful conversations are many; one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there…Simplify today, one little thing at a time. You can do it. You are LOVED.

oaklandbayview0221. A poem from Rainer Maria Rilke, Go to the Limits of Your Longing,

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

sanfranbridge0222. 10 Things You Should Do Every Day, on Elephant Journal. Again, I’ve shared this before but it’s important enough to take another look.

23. The Art of Decluttering on MindBodyGreen.

24. Me, Myself, & I from Rachel Cole.

25. Note from the Universe,

Nobody, Jill, is who they are based upon one decision, one day, one path, one chance, one relationship, or one anything else. Every day is brand new and opportunity never stops knocking.

26. Perspective from Dawn Dalili.

27. Can I Feel Your Soul Through Your Work? from Jonathan Fields. Word.

28. Everyday Icons: The Writer, an interview with Alexandra Franzen, and a follow-up blog post, Yet another (astonishingly simple) way to write your own bio.

berkeleymural29. Your Story Matters, in which Jen Louden references the workshop we did together this weekend, and makes an incredibly important point — maybe the most important point of all.

30. 8 Creativity Lessons from a Pixar Animator on Zen Habits.

31. Neil Gaiman’s Advice to Aspiring Writers on Brain Pickings.

32. A Chat with Inspired and Unstoppable Tama Kieves on The Mojo Lab.

33. the art of thinking highly of yourself by Justine Musk.

berkeleymural0234. Woman Secretly Filmed Dancing at Bus Stop Lands Prestigious Theater Gig on Gawker. This video makes me all kinds of happy. The fact that it has a happy ending is a bonus.

35. I am buying Sam an elephant, and here’s why: No Friendship Can Compare To This One Between A Dog And An Elephant on Buzzfeed and Elephant and dog best friends love playing in the water together (VIDEO).

36. Tears, Tails, Dickey and Duane from Susan Piver. Just one more reason I love her.

37. San Francisco Adventures! from Vivienne McMaster.

Something Good

1. 31 Unmistakable Signs That You’re An Introvert on BuzzFeed.

2. Working with the Obstacles in Your Path and 6 Steps To Being More Creative on Zen Habits.

3. less stuff, less stress: 6 steps to declutter + destress on Positively Present.

4. Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes on BBC News Magazine. If I were planning on having kids, I might start looking into moving to Finland.

5. Sad Dog Diary from ZeFrank.

6. Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was on Messy Nessy. I feel like I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth another look. It’s a fascinating story, and as a relatively unknown artist myself, for me it is a terrifying story, (to die and have no one know about your work?!).

7. dipping my toes in the ladypreneurial pond, useful and good real advice from Sas Petherick.

8. “My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness.” ~Virginia Woolf. Yes, yes it does.

9. your daily rock : be gentle with your self, from Patti Digh.

10. Eye Candy: The Pantone Project on Pugly Pixel. This project is so cool, and I have since started following the photographer, Paul Octavious, on Instagram and his other work is worth a look as well.

11. Kaleidoscape: A Study in Double Symmetry, a really cool “museum exhibition and social furniture project,” (led in part by Andrea Scher‘s super talented husband, Matthew Passmore).

12. The 5000th post from Seth Godin. “For me, the privilege is sharing what I notice, without the pressure of having to nail it every time… I treasure the ability to say, ‘this might not work.’ ” I’ve written 710 posts, can’t even imagine 5000, and yet I absolutely understand what he’s saying here. As a writing practice, there’s really nothing like it.

13. Becoming Well-Fed with Soulsister, Rachel Cole on the Soul Sisters Gathering website.

14. This wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.

15. 20 More Baby Animals That’ll Make You Say “Aww” from Bored Panda.

16. Good advice from Franz Kafka, “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

17. Tumblr Gets Deep (25 Pics) on Pleated Jeans. There is a whole series of these posts, super funny and addictive. I don’t recommend going too deep into them if you don’t have a lot of time. I myself could get lost there, forever happy in funny land.

18. H&M’s NBD Approach To Plus-Size Model Shocks, Astounds World, on xojane, which says, “How to be beautiful naked: stand in front of a mirror, naked, and say to yourself, ‘My body is as unique as I am. It does not, and will not ever, look like any other body on earth, and that’s why it’s my favorite.’ ” I love that, couldn’t agree more, and yet am still bothered by the fact that “Jennie Runk is a size 10, which equals plus size for the purpose of the modeling industry.” Ugh.

19. Joy, a post Lisa Congdon wrote about her wedding, in which she says, “I have never felt so totally whole as I did that afternoon & evening.” I want this, for everyone.

20. This wisdom from Geneen Roth,

I was remembering yesterday what one of my beloved teachers once told me: that I was protecting myself from losses that already happened. I was remembering this because I was noticing how my mind tilts toward catastrophe, how even when things are fine, I look for how they are not. And remembering that the big losses, the ones that I was helpless and small and utterly unprepared for had already happened, allowed me to come back to the present. Which was good.

It’s not that losses don’t happen in the present. It’s not that there isn’t sadness or grief here. They do and there is. But as adults, it’s different. It’s different when you keep imagining how horrible it is or will be than when you are right in the middle of sadness or grief. As children, we might not have been able to get comfort. There might not have been anyone to whom we could truly speak or be ourselves. As adults, we have love in our lives. Our hearts break, and then they break open. And more comes in. Notice how you protect yourself from losses that have already happened. Notice how that closes your heart. Notice if, today, you can be with the raw beauty, and sometimes, broken-heartedness of the moment.

21. The Hidden Cost of Doing the Wrong Work on Create as Folk. This post cuts right through the crap and gets to the heart of the issue.

22. fed by everything, a poem by Tara Sophia Mohr, which ends like this,

In the end
maybe enlightenment
is a matter of being fed
by everything

23. Books to Inspire your Be Your Own Beloved Journey! from Vivienne McMaster. I already have some of these, but there are a few that are new to me, ones I clearly need to read.

24. 41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius on BuzzFeed.

25. Recipe I want to try: Grilled Polenta Cakes from Campfire Vegan.

26. Allison Mae Photography does it again. These two dogs remind me so much of my Sam and Dexter.

27. Trade Up for Your Best Life on Be More with Less.

28. Shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list:

29. 30 Places You’d Rather Be Sitting Right Now on BuzzFeed. I don’t know about “rather be sitting” but they are pretty awesome.

30. Sarah DeAnna: Breaking the Cycle on The Conversation.

31. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list:

32. Pat the Cat. Reminds me of my Sam.

33. Wisdom from Marianne Williamson, “The ways of spirit are not the ways of sacrifice, but rather a way of opening yourself fully to the infinite glories of the universe. The glories are there. They merely await your acceptance.”

34. Patti Digh’s story about Tess on 3x3x365 is so sweet, so heartbreaking. Tess has Asperger’s Syndrome and Patti is generous enough to share her story. Watching that little girl walk through the world, navigate the bumps and the joy, is a beautiful thing.

35. “After I’ve lost 20 pounds, I’ll be happy with who I am.” on Elephant Journal.

36. 27 Stunning Works Of Art You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photographs on BuzzFeed.

37. Two more from Brain Pickings: Do It: 20 Years of Famous Artists’ Irreverent Instructions for Art Anyone Can Make and How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Presence Over Productivity.

38. The 32 Greatest Unscripted Movie Scenes.

39. 24 Grooms Blown Away By Their Beautiful Brides on BuzzFeed. *sob*

40. The Life’s Too Short Diet on Drop It and Eat, in which Lori F. Lieberman says “Don’t be fooled into believing that you’ll be happier if only you weighed a few pounds less, because it’s simply a moving target.”

41. This wisdom from Sakyong Mipham, “If humanity is to survive – and not only that, to flourish – we must be brave enough to find our wisdom and let it shine.”

42. A Mood from Jeff Oaks, in which he says “Breathe until the feeling of being buried brings the need to break open.” As I said in a comment I left on this post, “The way that you are able to almost hide something so profound in the relating of the details of your daily life is a particular kind of magic.”

43. 50 Things to Love about Life That Are Free on Tiny Buddha.

44. What’s Wrong with Me? from Curvy Yoga.

Something Good

For those of you who are new to my blog, here’s the story behind my Something Good posts: When I am feeling bad, I will often ask my husband Eric to “tell me something good.” When I need something to hang on to, to make me feel better, something to show me that it’s not all bad. When I am in that dark hole, way down at the bottom, and the mean things with teeth are down there with me –”tell me something good.”

He’s really good at it, because even when all he can think of is “I love you,” it totally works. I mean, how great is it that the person that you picked and who said “yes” almost 20 years ago, and knows you better than anyone, knows all the embarrassing and ugly stuff, continues to love you? He usually is able to give me a whole list when I ask him, followed by a hug and “what can I do for you, how can I make you feel better?”

So on A Thousand Shades of Gray, Monday’s feature is: Something Good. I like the idea of gratitude generating joy, and the opportunity my gratitude has to spread joy when I share the good things, so every Monday, I give you a list.

Here’s this week’s list:

1. 5 Plants You (Almost) Never Have to Water on House Logic.

2. Stunning Self-Portraits by a 14-year-old Photographer on Bored Panda.

3. Diana Fayt’s Painted Rocks (& Other Lovely Things) from Lisa Congdon.

4. Be Brave: A Poem-Film for Anyone Asking for Courage to Create from Jeffrey Davis.

5. Cute Pets in Windows from Bold Italics, originally shared by Rachel.

6. Reflections on Fearlessness and Best Links (May), a great list of good stuff from Sandra at Always Well Within, (confession: one of my posts is on the list).

7. Reason to Forgive | DubStep, video of a 12 year old who is an amazing dancer.

8. You’re not needy. You’re starving. from Rachel Cole. Amazing.

9. Out of the water from Lisa Bonchek Adams.

10. Patrick Stewart Speaks About His Childhood, Domestic Abuse and PTSD. The woman involved in this specific moment wrote about it on her blog as well, Let me tell you a thing, about an amazing man named Patrick Stewart.

11. This message from Brave Girls Club came just when I needed it,

Dear Sweet Girl,

You don’t have to have special permission to take a break, you know. You have done enough. When you are tired, and weary and feeling worn out, you need to be kind to yourself and take good care of your body and your spirit.

Please be good to yourself, beautiful friend . . . the world is not the same without the best of you. The people that you love the most have better lives because of you and the people you have not even met yet will have enriched lives because of you.

Your life will be better, happier, more effective, more efficient and more meaningful if you stop and take care of yourself. No more putting guilt trips on yourself or letting anyone else do it. No more working yourself so hard that you can’t even feel anymore . . . it’s time to REALLY nurture and take care of yourself. You are a gift to the world, please take care of YOU. Today’s a great day to start.

12. There’s Just No Time from Paul Jarvis, shared by Laura of Create as Folk.

13. Rijks Museum Free Hi-Res Art Downloads shared by Pugly Pixel.

14. Introducing Prancercise, just silly enough to be kind of awesome.

15. Be the Giver from Danielle LaPorte.

16. 9 Rules for a Simpler Day from Zen Habits.

17. What is Your Gift to the World? on Scoutie Girl.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Tigers Above, Tigers Below: There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.

19. 7 Things You Need to Stop Doing Every Day from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

20. Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags from Decor8.

21. Celebrate and Embrace Ventures and Adventures from Be More with Less.

22. Her Lilac Jacket on SouleMama. The sweetest pictures! This one is my favorite, (her little hand!).

23. Racists Very Upset Over Interracial Family in Cute Cheerios Commercial. The little girl in this commercial is super cute. Someone posted on Facebook last week about this and added, “Whomever has a problem with this better just go buy a white hood right now and be honest with yourself.” I couldn’t agree more.

24. it’s complicated from Sas Petherick. *sigh*

25. Inside the Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Treasure trove finally revealed after owner locked up and fled at outbreak of WWII.

26. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : what would love do?, and your daily rock : just breathe, and your daily rock : you are enough.

27. Name-calling Has Its Place: BED is Now Named as a Distinct Eating Disorder. So what’s in it for you? from Drop it and Eat.

28. Another Origami Fox from How About Orange. I wish I was better at this. I’d be making some of these, (shared by Positively Present).

29. This quote, People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. ~Iris Murdoch

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30. Google Poetics, (shared by Positively Present). “This blog started collecting Google Poems on October 2012 and is run by its founder Sampsa Nuotio and curator Raisa Omaheimo. Google Poetics is born when Google autocomplete suggestions are viewed as poems.” I could get lost in this site for a very, very long time. For example,

pain is temporary
pain is weakness leaving the body
pain is inevitable suffering is optional
pain is love

Or,

I am a disco dancer
I am a dwarf and I’m digging a hole
I am a dynamic figure
I am a dreamer

Pure awesome.

31. Patti Smith, We all have a creative impulse, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list. The site where this video is posted, Channel Louisiana, has lots of other really cool stuff, if you want to get lost for a little while and haven’t already spent all your time on Google Poetics. Also on Susannah’s list this week was What’s Inside Our “Going Out” Bags.

32. Humans of New York. I’ve shared this site before, but it’s so good, I want to share it again in case you missed it the first time. You can also follow them on Facebook.

33. Issa Rae: Own Your Awkward on The Conversation.

34. From Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links post: A Revolution of Contentment by Sandra Pawula on the Bridgemaker, and Chic Tiny House in Omaha Nebraska on Air BnB, (the loft beds in tiny houses always make me think of sleeping in a tree house — magic).

35. My Dentist Was Made To Believe I Was Dead And It Made Me Realize Why I Shouldn’t Kill Myself And You Shouldn’t Either on xojane.

36. This wisdom from Marianne Williamson, “The kind of rest you seek you will find not from sleeping but from waking.”

37. This Poster Might Just Change Your Life. by Nicole Duncan on Elephant Journal.

38. This wisdom from Lama Christie McNally, The Tibetan Book of Meditation,

Tibetans say we should do our meditation practice “as if our hair was on fire.” We should have the same urgency to get out of this pain filled place as someone who has just woken up in a burning, smoke filled house. But it’s hard- all the distractions of this life keep stealing away our time and our mind. We keep telling ourselves, “I’ll meditate later.” Then one day you look up and realize life has passed you by, the time is gone, and it’s too late.

39. This wisdom from Jen Lemen, “I don’t want to be famous or popular or known for anything other than that I was deep and wise and had a soul that was wildly beautiful, full of mercy and light.”

40. Amanda Palmer on Creativity as Connecting Dots and the Terrifying Joy of Sharing Your Art Online and Be All Your Selves: Joss Whedon’s 2013 Wesleyan Commencement Address on Embracing Our Inner Contradictions on Brain Pickings.

41. Quotes shared by Justine Musk, You cannot truly enjoy life through your mind…It’s through the heart + the body that we get to party,” (Kagiso Msimango), and “There’s nothing more powerful than a woman who has met the truth inside her. Nothing,” (Meggan Jane Watterson).

42. Are Children Natural Vegans? by Sara Crolick on Elephant Journal.

43. This quote from Cheryl Stayed, “That silence is such a beautiful thing. It’s like the stars at night in the great alone and you there beneath them, saying thank you.”

44. Karma and Smartphones: How to Use Technology From a Buddhist Perspective, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche on Huffington Post.

45. Dog People Problems, from Reddit.

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46. 2 year old problems: cinnamon rolls aren’t instant, from Reddit.

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47. Wisdom from Chogyam Trungpa,

Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquility, nor is it attempting to be a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes.

48. Father and 2-year-old boy sing Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ in viral hit.

49. Let go … again, still, more from Lindsey on A Design So Vast.

50. The Pros and Cons (But Mostly Pros) of Adopting a Shelter Dog on Hello Giggles.

51. you are worthy. from Liz Lamoreux.

52. Feeding the Right Wolf, with Marianne Elliot on Sacred Circle.

53. The Big Book Giveaway! from Susannah Conway. This is a great set of books, some of my favorites! You should totally enter this, (but just know, I plan on winning the Book Bomb).

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P.S. I think this might officially be the longest Something Good list e v e r.

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

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

teachingassistantbio

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

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

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

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled list of goodness:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. There was a Time, from Jennifer Louden.

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

9. Note from the Universe:

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

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

11. Begin from Life After Tampons.

12. The Sacred Quiet from Jen Lee.

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

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

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

16. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday:

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

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

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

19. This quote from Charlotte Joko Beck:

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

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

20. An igloo made out of colored ice blocks.

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

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

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