Category Archives: Emily McDowell

Something Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21. Brave Enough on A Design So Vast.

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

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

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

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

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

27. 200 Key Sanskrit Yoga Terms from Yoga Journal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

36. Daylight Saving – Movie Trailer. Hilarious.

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

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

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

Something Good

1. This quote from Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, “The purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.”

2. Street Compliments from Soul Pancake.

3. This quote from the Dalai Lama, “These days, in our materialistic culture, many people are led to believe that money is the ultimate source of happiness. Consequently, when they don’t have enough of it they feel let down. Therefore, it is important to let people know that they have the source of contentment and happiness within themselves, and that it is related to nurturing our natural inner values.”

4. Harlem Shake Karme Choling edition. I only learned this week what the Harlem Shake is, and thought this was an especially funny version.

5. Please Mind the Gap on Scoutie Girl, which says “How is it that we suddenly don’t know how to just do nothing? All those empty spaces seem like such an inconvenience. A total waste of time when I could be being productive.” Exactly. And this, “But the spaces in between can provide some of life’s most meaningful moments,” and “We need space to breathe, to ponder, to take in the world around us, to rest, to be inspired.”

6. I am in love with Kid President, and Soul Pancake. Here, Kid President Interviews Rainn Wilson.

7. Illustrator Emily McDowell.

8. Tara Brach shared this poem on Facebook, and I just love it.

Spacious

Dear you,
you who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still

I know you’re tired
I also know it’s not your fault
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes
You’ve forgotten something again
You need to prepare for that or else
You should have done that differently

What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled
~Kaveri Patel

9. This quote from Chögyam Trungpa, “Before we produce anything at all, we have to have a sense of free and open space.”

10. The 20 best interiors blogs. Eye candy.

11. A few more posts on The Radiate Sessions, one from Kelly Rae Roberts and one from Andrea Scher.

12. Melt Your Emotional Blocks: Emotional Freedom Technique on Kris Carr’s blog. As with all good things, this might be crazy, might be magic. I tried it a few times this past week when I was feeling overwhelmed, and it really helped calm me down.

13. Perfectly Imperfect Self-Care from Rachel Cole.

14. When People Want You To Stay in The Shadows from Katherine Stone.

15. Writing advice from Cheryl Strayed, shared in her website’s F.A.Q.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?
1. Write a lot.
2. Don’t be in a hurry to publish.
3. Find the work that moves you the most deeply and read it over and over again. I’ve had many great teachers, but the most valuable lessons I learned were from writers on the page.
4. Be brave. Write what’s true for you. Write what you think. Write about what confuses you and compels you. Write about the crazy, hard, and beautiful. Write what scares you. Write what makes you laugh and write what makes you weep. Writing is risk and revelation. There’s no need to show up at the party if you’re only going to stand around with your hands in your pockets and stare at the drapes.

Amen.

16. Recipes shared by Soule Mama that I want to try: Smoky Corn Chowder and Oatcakes.

17. Belief Without Compassion, a post from Jonathan Fields.

18. The Power of the Numberfrom Back to Her Roots.

19. Trust: My Sober Familya post about staying sober long term on Guinevere Gets Sober.

20. Brilliance from Susan Piver,

I’d like to take a moment to remind you of the pointlessness of guilt and shame, especially in regard to your spiritual practice. We are all going to miss days, weeks, or years. We are all going to become confused at various points along the path. None of this means that you are bad or stupid. It’s so strange to have to say that, but believe me, I have to say it to myself about 1 zillion times per day. For some reason, we are prone to think the worst of ourselves. But neither guilt nor shame have ever led to breakthroughs in wisdom or compassion, at least not for me.

21. Paris and proposals. Spoiler: I said “no.” from Make Me Joyful.

22. We Found Our Son in the Subway, a wonderful adoption story, and a story about how a family was made, by Peter Mercurio.

23. MOYO Magazine Issue 3.

24. You already have permission, a brief yet brilliant post by Seth Godin.

25. I just love the #StuffMyGirlSays – the interview with my 5 year old on Bliss Habits. I think every parent should do this–no I demand that you do! (and email it to me)

26. The One and Only IvanI am reading this book by Katherine Applegate right now (yes, it’s for kids) and am so in love.

27. Stardust: A Mesmerizing Short Film About the Voyager 1 and the Wonder of the Universe and Words To Live By: 5 Timeless Commencement Addresses on Brain Pickings.

28. Geneen Roth: Compulsion vs. Awareness, a one minute sound clip.

29. Shared by SF Girl by the Bay, Craftsman and Wolves.

30. Creative BadAssery with Justine Musk, in which Jennifer Louden interviews Justine Musk.

31. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list:  Relax! You’ll Be More Productive, which says,

Working in 90-minute intervals turns out to be a prescription for maximizing productivity. Professor K. Anders Ericsson and his colleagues at Florida State University have studied elite performers, including musicians, athletes, actors and chess players. In each of these fields, Dr. Ericsson found that the best performers typically practice in uninterrupted sessions that last no more than 90 minutes. They begin in the morning, take a break between sessions, and rarely work for more than four and a half hours in any given day.” And, “Our basic idea is that the energy employees bring to their jobs is far more important in terms of the value of their work than is the number of hours they work. By managing energy more skillfully, it’s possible to get more done, in less time, more sustainably.

Also from Susannah’s list, The Empathic Civilisation.

32. From Positively Present Picks, this quote:

Dogs don’t know about beginnings, and they don’t speculate on matters that occurred before their time. Dogs also don’t know — or at least don’t accept — the concept of death. With no concept of beginnings or endings dogs probably don’t know that for people having a dog as a life companion provides a streak of light between two eternities of darkness. ~Stanley Coren

And these links, Meet the Rules of the Internet and 4 Ways To Deal With Negativity in the World, on Pick the Brain blog.

33. This quote from Ram Dass,

You spent the first half of your life becoming somebody. Now you can work on becoming nobody, which is really somebody. For when you become nobody there is no tension, no pretense, no one trying to be anyone or anything. The natural state of mind shines through unobstructed-and the natural state of mind is pure love.

34. 30+ mantras for people who over-work, over-commit, and are generally terrified of “missing out.” from Alexandra Franzen.

35. Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDxUniversityofNevada. One thing referenced in the talk, Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes comes from a study with some very interesting results.

36. 4 Ways to Stay Positive in a Negative World post on Belief Net by Marianne Elliott, in which she says,

An open heart can leave us feeling unstable. We balance this by cultivating a steady mind. Meditation trains our mind to hold steady under the onslaught of disturbing images, thoughts and feelings, helping us maintain a sense of center when the world spins out of control.

Word.