Category Archives: Elizabeth Gilbert

Three Truths and One Wish

fallcolors1. “I love you, but I’m letting you go.” Not you, kind and gentle reader. Not this blog either. It’s something that Elizabeth Gilbert posted on Facebook this morning, something I was just talking about with a new friend yesterday afternoon. I need space in my life, need to ease up, but it’s complicated because the things I would need to start saying no to are things I love, things that are brilliant and wonderful, things I want to experience and do, but if I’m being honest, things I can’t fit into the finite, limited amount of time I’m alloted. I can’t do ALL THE THINGS. Elizabeth ends her post by saying, “I don’t know what the thing is (or things are) that you need to start saying no to, in order to live the life you keep saying you want. But I have a suspicion that perhaps YOU know. Is it maybe time?” *sigh*

2. I struggle with three types of laziness, sometimes all three at once. These are the kinds of laziness referred to in my Buddhist practice tradition. Adreanna Limbach gives the best description I ever heard of them. She says the three types are: having a lack of vision, speedy business, and disheartenment. We forget our intention, why we’ve said “yes” to something in the first place, lose our sense of purpose, and this can make us feel stuck, apathetic. Or, in a culture which sees productivity as a virtue, we fill up our time doing things that aren’t in line with our vision, our intention, our mission, and we treat busyness as a badge of honor. And finally, we might feel unworthy or disappointed in our efforts and lose patience, maybe even give up.

3. Luckily, there are antidotes to my behavior, this laziness. I can reconnect with my intention. I can sit with myself, sink into my own innate wisdom and consider what I might need to let go of, what I really want. I can prioritize what really matters, give it my attention and time, and say no to everything else — “I love you, but I’m letting you go.” I can show up and practice with joyful effort, become a “deeply disciplined half-ass,” having faith that the seeds I plant will come to fruition. And when I feel tired, I’ll rest. And when I feel like giving up, I won’t.

One wish: To reconnect with my intention and have clarity about the letting go, making space for what really matters.

Big Magic Read-a-Long: Courage

image by Justine

image by Justine

My friend and one of my favorite bloggers Justine is hosting a read-a-long for Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Justine provided prompts for the first section of the book on her blog, and invited readers to respond in the comments or send her an email. At first, I was going to journal about the prompts this morning, then send her an email, along with some times when I could Skype so we could discuss it the next time we talk, but as I started to write out the first prompt in my journal, I thought to myself, “why don’t I just blog a response?” Duh. It’s funny how much work I’ve put into cultivating this space, but then I forget to use it other times when it’s so obviously the right place for something.

Justine’s prompts for the first section of the book are:

  • What are some of the fears that crop up when you think about living a more creative life? My first fear, the most immediate one right now as I consider how I might shift the way I make my living to be more focused on my creative pursuits, is money — how will I make any money if this is how I’m spending my time? Which leads directly to the next fear — time. I worry that I don’t have enough time, that I don’t have the energy or space or days left it will take to accomplish all the things I want to do. After that comes the deep longing to make a difference, to help, to be of service, and wondering if what I do does those things. I also worry about the amount of time my creative pursuits take away from what I can give to Eric and the dogs, the time I can spend with family and friends — am I cheating them, am I giving enough attention there? And finally, (and you’ve heard me say this before, recently), I’m afraid I’m boring, that what I have to offer won’t be meaningful to anyone else. These fears all stem from the same fundamental confusion: I think that living a creative life has to have a product that is worth something, an outcome that is valuable enough to justify itself. It goes back to that same, original confusion: that I have to earn the right to be here, to have the life I want.
  • Like Gilbert’s friend who started ice skating again at 40, what life affirming pursuits are you denying yourself? How can you begin “to appreciate the value of (your) own joy”? I’m most definitely denying myself joy. I think I have to accomplish a certain amount first, that joy is the reward for hard work rather than a necessary condition of living. Things I don’t do as much as I’d like: read, nap, relax, laugh, pause, make art for art’s sake, practice yoga, stretch, sit in the sun, go outside, hike, take long walks, ride a bike, garden, follow my curiosity, spend time with friends, play with my dogs, do nothing, have no plans, focus on one thing at a time. I’d like to learn how to swim and play the ukulele, take singing lessons or a painting class. But even these things I can turn into a project if I’m not careful. How I can begin is to stop, as weird as that might sound. To stop doing, stop trying, stop planning. Just stop and see what happens, wait for what might arise.
  • Gilbert tells the story of arguing for her own limitations.
    1. Why do you think it feels easier to argue for our limitations rather than for our strengths? We are so desperate to let ourselves off the hook, somehow think that it’s easier to give up. We make a lot of effort to avoid what is hard thinking we can get ourselves out of it somehow. Fundamentally we are struggling with the truth of how hard life is, how vulnerable we are, what a raw deal it is that we love and delight and enjoy our life just to one day lose everything. If we can hide away in our cocoon of excuses, we think we can skip that part, pretend it away. It makes me think of the Pema Chödrön quote, “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” We think we can excuse ourselves from that experience if we have a good enough reason.
    2. What limitations of your own do you argue for? I can’t because I have too many responsibilities, things I have to do first. I can’t because I’m too tired, not strong enough. I don’t have enough time. Why should I have to when she/he isn’t doing anything? Why can’t my life be easy? It’s harder for me. I work so hard, shouldn’t I get a break? I didn’t start early enough. I’m too sad, too stressed out, too many bad things have happened.
    3. What thinking, saying or action can you embrace to argue for your strengths instead? Being present always feels better than being numbed out. No matter how scary or difficult the situation, my innate wisdom and compassion will guide me — I always know what to do, even if it’s to admit that I don’t know what to do. Doing the hard thing is so much easier than what it would take to avoid it. Showing up with an open heart is my superpower.
  • Write a welcoming speech for your fear. Maybe instead of a road trip your metaphor is a camping trip or running a marathon. Whatever the situation, how can you welcome and acknowledge fear and still keep the reins firmly in your creative hands? In my Buddhist lineage, I was given a teaching that included placing the mind of fear “into a cradle of lovingkindness.” My fear always seems to me like something very young and afraid, vulnerable and sweet, easily invited to crawl into my lap and rest. I can also easily imagine it clinging to me like a baby orangutan. In all of those circumstances, there’s not much of a speech involved. All I offer is the invitation to “come here” and the reassurance that “it’s okay.”
  • As you go about your week, think about approaching your day with curiosity instead of fear. What does that shift for you? Does it create any ease? There’s a lot of talk recently in the books I’m reading, most specifically this one and Brene’ Brown’s Rising Strong, about shifting to being curious. This non-judgmental approach, this leaning into what’s happening with an open mind and heart, allowing whatever might arise and being curious about our reaction rather than immediately reacting is something I already practice, in all the ways I practice — yoga, mediation, writing, and dog. I’m so lucky to have been taught this in all my traditions, to know this is an option and to have seen the outcome in my own experience. This approach shifts absolutely everything, creating ease and space and sanity.

Thank you Justine for the prompts, for the chance to get to think about these things, contemplate and reflect. I especially appreciate the way listing my fears made it clear that they really are all the same fear underneath.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. ~Hermann Hesse

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

1. My Cup Runneth Over by Jena Schwartz. This is real life — a mess, and some kind of magic.

2. Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert on Creative Courage and the Art of Living in a State of Uninterrupted Marvel on Brain Pickings. She was also recently interviewed on Good Life Project radio, Elizabeth Gilbert: The Creative Life.

3. I am my own worst enemy by Paul Jarvis. (Just to be clear, I am one of his rat people, “the people that get what you do, appreciate it, and love you for it”).

4. Wisdom from Seth Godin: The 2% who misunderstand you, and The banality of the magazine rack, and Dreams and fears.

5. Yoga, spinning and a murder: My strange months at Lululemon. I love what this has to say about being who you really are.

6. Francine’s interview, from Human (the movie). “Born in 1933, Francine Christophe was deported with her mother at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. Released the following year, she continues to share her experience and memories, particularly with the younger generations.” (Confession: I’ve had a lifelong obsession with stories from the Holocaust, specifically the way that moment in history brought out the best and the worst in those involved).

7. Human, the movie, Volumes 1-3, which you can watch online, for FREE.

What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery? Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. Working with a dedicated team of translators, journalists and cameramen, Yann captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all; struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness.

8. Bryan Chapman of Mississippi has hummingbirds drinking out of his hand!

9. Author Lauren Myracle calls on overprotective parents to stop banning books. Find out more about Banned Books Week, Sept. 27- Oct. 3, on the official website.

10. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa, “In the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.” I love this quote. I also hate this quote.

11. Uh-oh. I think my new favorite album might be Ryan Adams’s reimagining of Taylor Swift’s 1989. NPR did a really good piece about it, No Blank Space, Baby: Taylor Swift Is The Soul Of Ryan Adams.

12. Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation, a great review of a great book.

13. 10 Reasons We Should Defund Planned Parenthood IMMEDIATELY. *gigglesnort*

14. Jenny Lawson “The Bloggess” Gets Furiously Happy con Queso with an Interview, an Announcement and an Old-School Giveaway.

15. So much wisdom from Alexandra Franzen, How to love your work… even when you don’t love your work, and How to avoid being someone’s “assistant” for the rest of your career and finally do your own thing, and 7 beautiful, meaningful writing projects that you can finish in a single day. Because finishing is sexy.

16. One-Pot Butternut Squash Alfredo. I bought two butternut squash at the grocery store this weekend, not really surewhat I was going to do with them exactly. THIS, this is what…

17. Why I Almost Didn’t Tell You About the Book I’m Writing from Be More With Less.

18. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter: Thoughts on authenticity from the documentary The Search for General Tso, (we watched this documentary, and I agree with Austin’s assessment of it), and Everyone lies about writing, and a great video tutorial, How to make a newspaper blackout poem.

19. I never should have followed my dreams. “I quit my steady gig to fulfill my potential. Instead I went broke, and got fired from a job in doggie daycare.”

20. Six-year-old’s heartfelt lecture to mom and dad. An adorable little girl’s words of wisdom have gone viral after her mother uploaded a video of her pleading with her divorced parents to be friends. The video has been viewed more than six million times. In the video, Tiana tells her mom, “I think you can do it. I think you can settle your mean heights down to short heights … I just want everything to be settled down, nothing else. For everything to be as good as possible. Nothing else.” She’s so earnest and sweet that you can’t help but want to try harder to be nicer after listening to her.

21. 15 Celebs Answering Badass, Inspiring Questions On The Emmys Red Carpet, because it’s time to start asking more than “What are you wearing?”

22. Grab your tissues: This couple’s wedding day was all about their ailing dog.

23. A hedge fund bro bought an AIDS drug, then raised the price from $13.50 to $750. Compare that to Kickstarter Focuses Its Mission on Altruism Over Profit.

24. He Wears Nail Polish Because He’s a Good Father.

The only thing that is missing from this video is Nathan’s backstory. He’s even more amazing than what they show here — in 2011, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer, and nine days later, his wife Elisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nathan beat his cancer, but Elisa died in March of 2014.

25. It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. *gigglesnort*

26. Andrea Scher has a new website just for her photography. I was lucky enough to do a session with her. She’s fantastic.

27. Japanese Photographer Documents The Beauty Of Everyday Life In Japan. Confession: I’m a Japan-ophile. Even though I long to, I’m afraid to travel there, worried I’ll love it so much I won’t want to come back.

28. Library Haul – September 2015 on Allowing Myself, one of my favorite blogs/bloggers. I love Justine’s description of the power of books and reading, “Non-fiction holds my attention. Fiction keeps me afloat. Reading calms and centers me in a way that not much else can.” And if you need more proof of why I love this blog, just read Tiny Shifts — honest, vulnerable, tender, and sad, but so inspiring. Justine writes about what is hard, but she makes it clear she’s also not giving up. Tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal.

29. Meet the blogger who turned her battle with an eating disorder into a body positive movement.

30. 100 questions to discover yourself from Positively Present. I love this kind of thing, use them as journal prompts, as well as regularly torturing friends and my significant other with them.

31. A Blog Is Only Dead When You Are, more on the topic “is blogging dead?” (which honestly is a silly question, akin to something like “are books dead?”).

32. permission on Chookooloonks.

33. AngelList, a platform for startups to hire people. If I were looking for a job, I think I’d check this out.

34. A Person You Should Know: Courtney Carver. I shared this site on a Something Good list a while back, and the creator Josh Spector asked who I thought he should profile. Courtney is one of the people I suggested.

35. A White Artist Wrote ‘Black Lives Matter’ 2,000 Times. But His Mural Almost Said ‘All Lives Matter.’

36. Is Teaching Yoga Your Path? 8 Qualities of Excellent Teachers. “Considering yoga teacher training? 90 Monkeys co-founder Amy Ippoliti suggests you start by asking yourself some tough questions.”

37. Spiritual practice won’t stop shitty things from happening to you. However…, a reality check from Danielle LaPorte in which she makes some important distinctions about the benefits of practice.

38. Alison’s Story, another installment of the Transgender in Colorado series from The Denver Post.

39. To the stinking alcoholic at the liquor store last week from Renegade Mothering. I’m sharing this with someone I love. I hope she reads it. I hope she gets it. I hope she stops before it’s too late.

40. When the Everyday Calls For Super Powers and a Good Plum Tart on Flingo.

41. 8 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make In A Muffin Tin. Too bad the pictures they used for this post are so horribly unappetizing.

42. Watch Shiva Rea’s Moon Salutation.

43. Why I Quit Teaching Yoga & Hope to Never Go Back on Elephant Journal. The reason is not at all what you’d expect, and makes me think all of us yoga teachers should do the same thing.

44. Watch These Dancers Tell A Breakup Story In A Way Words Can’t Convey.

Something Good

springsnoweric02

What Spring looks like in Colorado: flooding Poudre River, a little snow, and a lot of green (image by Eric)

Those

Those ropes are what kids use in the summer to swing themselves into the water, which is much lower (image by Eric)

1. A Note from the Universe,

Courageous is the soul, Jill, who adventures into time and space to learn of their divinity. For while they cannot lose, they can think they have, and the loss will seem intolerable. And while they cannot fail, they can think they have, and the pain will seem unbearable. And while they cannot ever be less than they truly are – powerful, eternal, and loved – they can think they are, and all hope will seem lost. And therein lies their test. A test of perceptions: of what to focus on, of what to believe in, in spite of appearances.

2. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen, How to cleanse your calendar & life: part one [the easy part] and How to cleanse your calendar & life: part two [the hard part], which she introduced in her newsletter this way,

Socrates had it right. Being “busy” may provide a temporary hit of fulfillment, but when your life is choked up with commitments that don’t feel meaningful or energizing, that’s a pretty barren existence. It is difficult, if not impossible, to evolve into the person you want to be when you are so busy and burdened that you can barely breathe.

3. Meditating on Love – a Daily Dharma Gathering event, which happened live yesterday, but the video is available to watch for the next seven days — Susan Piver, Lodro Rinzler, Sokuzan and angel Kyodo williams in a special 4 hour retreat.

4. Beyond Mindfulness, a free online event. “Beyond Mindfulness will feature top thought leaders, social visionaries, and wisdom holders in dialogue with one another, presenting practical teachings for living a more mindful, compassionate life, and leading guided meditations. Presenters and hosts include Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Joseph Goldstein, Kelly McGonigal, Ken Wilber, Rich Fernandez, Rick Hanson, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Shastri Holly Gayley, Richard Reoch, Acharya Fleet Maull, Susan Piver, Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Lodro Rinzler, Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams and more!”

5. How to Overcome Victim Thinking: 3 Powerful Steps for a Happier Life.

6. Vanity’s Other Name from Rachel Cole.

7. ‘Alone time’ is really good for you. Duh.

8. May You Be Present and Clear from Be More with Less.

9. Bad Responses to Bad Fat Shaming – Starring Keath Hausher and Tony Posnanski on Dances with Fat. And in related news, I Was The So-Called Unhealthy Fat Woman At The Cardinals Game.

10. Good stuff from Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Tired of having to wear a thick skin? Try this instead and Shades of Sensitivity.

11. Diet fads are destroying us: Paleo, gluten-free and the lies we tell ourselves.

12. Why diets don’t actually work, according to a researcher who has studied them for decades.

13. 23 Amazingly Ridiculous Things You Can Buy At Anthropologie.

14. Why We Need to Stop Hating Ourselves, Once and For All.

15. An Open Letter To All Of My Friends Who Take Selfies, (shared by Kirsten).

16. Wisdom from Valerie Estelle Frankel, (shared by Jen Louden),

While the hero journeys for external fame, fortune, and power, the heroine tries to regain her lost creative spirit… Once she hears the cries of this lost part of herself needing rescue, her journey truly begins.

17. What’s the Truth About Sugar Addiction? from Eat to Love.

18. Wisdom from Dita Von Teese,

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

19. A Photo Essay: A Creativity Reboot on Rowdy Kittens.

20. My Terrifying Tornado Story from Elizabeth Gilbert.

21. 6 Words That Are Guaranteed to End Picky Eating.

22. Why I quit dieting.

23. Cute bunnies working in an office.

24. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Truth in Nonfiction But Were Afraid to Ask: A Bad Advice Cartoon Essay.

25. Mourning the Death and Celebrating the Life of Dave Goldberg.

26. A Woman Uses Art To Come To Terms With Her Father’s Death.

27. “Mind creates the gap and then the heart crosses it.” Wisdom from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (by way of Susan Piver),

28. Good stuff from Bored Panda, 23 Before-And-After Photos Of Pets Growing Up With Their Toys, and This Rescued Pet Rat And Dog Are The Best Buddies Ever, and Sad Vacation Guy Wins Second Vacation, Takes His Wife And Baby, Has Much Better Time.

29. How We Grieve: Meghan O’Rourke on the Messiness of Mourning and Learning to Live with Loss on Brain Pickings.

30. Welcome To “Bestie Row”: Lifelong Friends Build Row Of Tiny Houses In The Middle Of Nowhere.

31. This Kid Says A Lot Of Hilarious Sh*t And His Dad Gets It All On Camera.

32. The ‘Painful Personal Toll Lung Cancer Has Taken on My Life’ by Cheryl Strayed.

33. How not to say the wrong thing.

34. Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread recipe.

35. 8 Body Positive Activists To Put On Your Radar, Because They’re All Badasses.

36. Stephen Colbert shocks South Carolina schools by funding every single teacher-requested grant.

37. In Which I Critique Your Story (That I Haven’t Read) from Terrible Minds.

38. Good stuff on tickld: 25 Of The Best Anti-Jokes Ever. #11 Is Gold. and Little Boy Gives The Best Response Ever. This Man Should Be Ashamed.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric

1. BROKEN SAVIORS: Alien Invasion Comic Book Kickstarter project. 12 days to go, and so close.

2. 3 Ways to Make Your Life Simple and Successful Again from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

3. May my suffering be of service from Danielle LaPorte.

4. A series of guest posts about courage hosted by Marianne Elliott.

5. Does Intuitive Eating mean eating whatever and whenever you feel like it? ~Guest post by Terri Barger on Eat to Love.

6. Listening to your Life from Rachel Cole.

7. The Limitless Living Course from Caroline Leon. FREE.

8. When Others Frustrate You and A Simple, Powerful Self-Compassion Method from Zen Habits.

9. Heart-opener from Guinevere Gets Sober.

10. The Just F*cking Journal Class: April 20-24, 2015 from Jamie Greenwood. FREE.

11. RAIN by Teah Strozer on Tricycle, which says,

Getting started on a spiritual path takes guts. We usually don’t know it in the beginning, but if we keep going on it — if we really want to know the truth of what it means to be human or if we are deeply finished with our suffering — we will learn that walking the path of freedom takes a humble courage. It also takes determination, humor, a balanced effort, and the willingness to feel, directly in our body, the suffering brought by attachment to our conditioned thoughts, which create separation, dis-ease, and the greed and aversion we usually use to seek happiness. But the promise is real. We can be free of suffering; we can know our wide-awake mind and the open heart that goes with it.

12. Why I Seldom Teach The Hero’s Journey Anymore — And What I Teach Instead.

13. The “Food Babe” Blogger Is Full of Shit. And in related news, The “Food Babe” Strikes Back At Her Critics.

14. Grief is the Price We Pay for Love.

15. How BMI affects emotional eating from Isabel Foxen Duke.

16. Perpetual Potential Thin Person from Dances with Fat.

17. Blue Mood on SF Girl by Bay.

18. Devotion to myself? on The Art of Wildness.

19. 3 selfies shared by Chris Rock are just one more way he’s demonstrating racism still exists.

20. This family is ‘blissfully enjoying life on the slow road, with no end in sight.’

21. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Mom Captures Powerful Photos Of Her Fearless Daughters To Show That ‘Strong Is The New Pretty’ and Incredible Miniature Paintings Of Galaxies, Animals And Books By Lorraine Loots.

22. The psychology of mean bosses is so fascinating you’ll wish this 2-minute video was 20 minutes long.

23. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Many of our escapes are involuntary: addiction and dissociating from painful feelings are two examples. Anyone who has worked with a strong addiction—compulsive eating, compulsive sex, abuse of substances, explosive anger, or any other behavior that’s out of control—knows that when the urge comes on it’s irresistible. The seduction is too strong. So we train again and again in less highly charged situations in which the urge is present but not so overwhelming. By training with everyday irritations, we develop the knack of refraining when the going gets rough. It takes patience and an understanding of how we’re hurting ourselves not to continue taking the same old escape route of speaking or acting out.

24. 20 Great Writers on Motivating Yourself To Write, No Matter What.

25. 4 Myths About Police Brutality We Need To Stop Spreading Right Now.

26. Louis CK’s impression of Jimmy Fallon = the best thing ever. In related news, 4 years ago, Louis C.K. went on ‘Conan’ and told a story that explains why we love him.

27. I love big book news and I cannot lie! from Brene’ Brown.

28. for love of liberation on Lists and Letters.

29. Beware of Tribal Shame! from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

30. Shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: 10 Success Secrets of the Highly-Creative, and 7 Reasons Your Wife Is Stressed Out All the Time, and The rise of the death doula.

31. This Woman Was Reunited With A Gorilla After 12 Years. What Happened Next Will Tear Your Heart Out.

32. Body Talk. (Thanks to Rachel for sharing).

33. Advice From Former Racist: ‘If You Hear Something Racist, F–king Stand Up and Take Responsibility.’ I can’t stop thinking about this video. Such wisdom from a completely unexpected place.

34. The Floor In His Apartment Is Covered In Bread. When I Saw Why? I Was Choking Back Tears.

35. “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions…” on Elephant Journal. It’s from a few years ago now, but it always makes me stop and think.

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte on Facebook,

Want to get unstuck? Maybe it’s time to stop analyzing it.

You can work out your family of origin issues, and neuroses, and past life traumas with your shrink or your shaman. You can talk talk talk it out all day long (I know, I’ve done it). You can trace the cause of your wounds and why you’re so stuck. But at some point, eventually, who cares WHY you’re stuck. Instead of focusing on how you got to where you are, you’ve got to shift your attention to where you’d rather be.

I’ve had at least a thousand conversations about success and desire. And I’ve noticed that when someone starts over-explaining WHY they’re stuck, it can be an indicator that they’re not 100% interested in getting unstuck. Recapitulating the past can provide a lot of comfort and confirmation. But…

Too much analysis can create paralysis.

As the saying goes, “Who cares why the elephant is standing on your foot? Just get him off.”

When I worked one-on-one with strategy clients, I began starting our session with this: “I’m asking you, for this hour together, to try to not talk about your past. We’re here to create your future, let’s just declare that the past has little bearing on where you want to go.” Some folks squirmed, could barely resist slipping into old stories. Some people were like, “What a great idea. I’m so tired of my story. Let’s move forward!”

Sometimes you can’t see why you were stuck until after you get unstuck. Hindsight and high-sight solves a lot of mysteries. In the mean time, you’ve got a new story to write, and it looks nothing like your past.

2. 6 life lessons from 6 years of blogging on Positively Present.

3. An apparently hungover Jimmy Fallon talks about the ‘epic’ SNL 40 after-party.

4. 34 Stunning Photos That Dispel the “Yoga Body” Myth.

5. You Have a Right to Refuse to be Weighed from Be Nourished.

6. The Source of Contentment on Zen Habits.

7. chinos are my kryptonite from Sas Petherick.

8. Patti Smith on The Biggest Misconception About Her.

9. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert: Own Your Shit and The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself — And All The Women Around You.

10. Be Kind, James Martin describes three simple ways you can be nicer to others this Lent.

11. Aka On Aloha.

12. Good stuff on Elephant Journal: All-Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Recipe and 14 Creative Ways to Love Ourselves.

13. My favorite quotes on A Design So Vast.

14. My Own Life, Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer.

15. Anne Lamott On The Really Hard Parts of Being Human. She tells the truth and through some sort of magic makes me feel okay about it.

16. Wisdom from an anonymous stranger, “The act of improving lives in the world is in no way inferior to the act of adding lives to the world.” (Thanks for sharing, Andrea).

17. Russian Photographer Captures The Cutest Squirrel Photo Session Ever on Bored Panda.

18. Wisdom from Geneen Roth: On Beauty and The Naked Now.

19. When you’re blue … Find a sliver of light within the darkness from Sherry Richert Belul.

20. Actress has perfect response to body-shaming movie critic.

21. All Good Things on Pugly Pixel.

22. From Pugly Pixel’s Links Loved list: You’re doing a really great job, and TEDxConcordiaUPortland – Cheryl Strayed – Radical Sincerity, and The Elements of HTML.

23. Another New Rape Suit Against Bikram Choudhury Makes It the Sixth, and It Keeps Getting Worse.

24. Premiere: Ingrid Michaelson’s “Time Machine” Video Gets Gloriously Hijacked By Rainn Wilson And Donald Faison.

25. On Getting Older from Lisa Congdon.

26. Buddhism A-Z: Your Basic Buddhist Library.

27. 3-Year-Old Taekwondo Devotee Recites Student Creed, Slays Us With Cuteness.

28. A Body Story from Meg Worden.

29. 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, a page with links to all the posts written for this project.

30. “Oh, Kristen Wiig, why can’t you be in EVERY movie?”

31. CT Scan of 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue Reveals Mummified Monk Hidden Inside.

32. Calm.com

33. bohemian beach vibe on SF Girl by Bay. Why doesn’t my crappy, old, beat up stuff look this good?

34. A common “intuitive eating” pitfall from Isabel Foxen Duke.

35. The trolls inside from Seth Godin.

36. 300 awesome free things: A massive list of free resources you should know. (Thanks for sharing, Jen).

37. Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech on wage equality just won ALL the awards.

Something Good

snowmoon1. Miles for Milo: Run or raise $ for Milo’s spina bifida costs. I’ve met little Milo, and it’s no lie that he’s smiley, kind, warm, and adorable.

2. The Bravery To Be Vulnerable: An experiment in #100DaysofVulnerability on Medium.

3. my study of thriving on Chookooloonks. Be sure to check out the gallery.

4. Wisdom from David Deida, “If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer.” (Thanks for sharing, Lise).

5. In case you missed it the first time I posted, Dear Sugar is back as a podcast.

6. This Man Walks 21 Miles To Work And Back Every Day, And Now Others Want To Lend A Helping Hand.

7. Comedian Tig Notaro on What It Was Like to Perform Stand-Up Topless.

8. Good stuff from Be More With Less: Maybe Variety isn’t the Spice of Life and 7 Things to Consider if You Hate Your Job.

9. The Emotional Milestones of Writing A Novel: A Handy Guide! from Terrible Minds.

10. do you make time for down-time? on the Community Questions column from Mabel Magazine.

11. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “When we clasp our hands around things, waiting to let go until they make sense, our hands are too full and can not be open to the things that are waiting for us.”

12. A Biggest Loser Contestant Reveals What We All Already Knew on Nourishing the Soul.

13. Proof that kindness matters on Superhero Life.

14. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

We can put our whole heart into whatever we do; but if we freeze our attitude into for or against, we’re setting ourselves up for stress. Instead, we could just go forward with curiosity, wondering where this experiment will lead. This kind of open-ended inquisitiveness captures the spirit of enthusiasm, or heroic perseverance.

15. PRI, #WomensLives … and me! Yay, Kirsten Akens!

16. The Practice of Ruthless Compassion from Sandi Amorim.

17. Loving Your Body Doesn’t Mean What You Think from Kimber Simpkins.

18. The Price I Pay to Write.

19. Wisdom from Geneen Roth.

Compulsive eating is only the symptom; believing that you’re not worth your own love is the problem. Go for the love. You’ll never be sorry.

20. 9 Things You Should Be Able to Say About Your Life from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

21. My house of belonging from Susannah Conway.

22. Mary Oliver — Listening to the World, a rare interview with On Being, the podcast.

23. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, Fierce self-accountability and Self-kindness.

24. Please don’t punish yourself from Danielle LaPorte.

25. Photo Battle: Allison McCann vs. Hilary Parker.

26. You Do Not Have to be Good from Julie Barton.

27. New Adventures New Lessons from Tracey Clark.

28. Why You Hate Work on The New York Times.

29. Self-Soothing, a list on PsychCentral.

30. The Things That Get in the Way of Doing on Zen Habits.

31. My Weird Morning Ritual and Why You Need One Too on Medium.

32. cheers to the weekend: saturday morning scones, a yummy looking recipe on SF Girl by Bay.

33. Podcast: TT 008: Tammy Strobel on Life, Creativity and a Tiny House.

34. black bean butternut squash quesadillas + chipotle lime crema recipe.

35. The Happiest States In America In One Map (INFOGRAPHIC).

36. This makes me so angry, a size 12 model being called “plus-size” is going to be the cover model for the next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She says, “I don’t know if I consider myself as a plus-size model or not,” Lawley, who is represented by Wilhelmina Models, says. “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies.” REALLY?! Explain to me HOW exactly you are trying to help me “accept” my body?!

37. This is What Happens When You Decide To Create Your Own Food Security.

38. A mantra from Rachael Maddox, “My fears melt into nothingness in the presence of perfect love. I am love, you are love, we are love. Everything belongs.”

39. Wisdom from Omar Khayy, “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

40. Fat is Not a Feeling.

41. Stop Eating. Everything is Bad for You.

42. Words for the Day // No. 57 from Lisa Congdon.

43. Wisdom from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “Love mixed with space is called letting go.”

44. Kai and his girlfriend Ellen. So cute.