Category Archives: esmé weijun wang

Something Good

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

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

1. December Reflections with Susannah Conway. “This project has no real rules – the idea is to simply take a photograph every day(ish) for the whole of December. That’s it. Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Reflect on how the year’s gone down. Enjoy a bit of mindful creativity in the run up to the new year.” 31 photo prompts, three ways to share your pictures. I’m in!

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2. An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

3. 29 Playlists To Listen To When Everything Sucks. I haven’t listened to any of these yet because I can’t stop listening to Adele’s new album, but when I do, I will.

4. F*ck That: A Guided Meditation. This has been floating around for a bit, and I finally listened to it. *gigglesnort*

5. How Lowering Your Standards Leads to Greatness from Jen Louden. I’m always open to lowering the bar. In this post, Jen gives us permission.

6. You are Allowed, from Mara Glatzel’s latest newsletter. This is the kind of thing you should print out and hang on the fridge. Click the link she includes to hear her read the list to you, close your eyes and listen to all the things you are allowed. And when you are done, go sign up for her newsletter for more of this sort of goodness.

7. A Little Guide for More Comfort and Joy from Be More With Less. Courtney consistently writes things I have to share. I feel like she’s a version of me, wiser and more compassionate with a simpler more fulfilling life, some years down the road sending me messages from my possible future, reminding me to not give up, to keep trying.

8. Body Gratitude Print Out for the Holidays from Curvy Yoga. What a great practice.

9. How to be generous from Danielle LaPorte. It’s funny to me how the antidote to poverty mentality, a feeling of scarcity, is to give more away, to let things go, to have less, to be more generous.

10. Breathe, an offering from the wonderful Julia Fehrenbaucher, “an eleven week, (self-directed), deep breathing, creative recovery retreat for your spirit.”

11. The Biggest Legal Mistake Freelancers Make from Paul Jarvis.

12. How To Read A Book. I developed a bad habit of reading multiple books at a time while I was in graduate school, but according to this list, that means I’m doing it right.

13. Two Dog Pals Separated At The Shelter End Up In The Same Loving Home. This makes me so happy. And, I have a serious crush on Mr. Riley!

14. I Quit My Boring Office Job To Start Making Mini Paintings On Recycled Wood. I’m glad. She makes some beautiful things.

15. I Doodle Introvert Comics To Express How I Feel. Love these! Her website is great too.

16. Scientists now think that being overweight can protect your health. Oh, snap!

17. #whatayogilookslike: Spotlight on Laura Sharkey.

18. Why this woman’s “badass undie” selfie is starting a viral movement.

19. Adam Kurtz, a great artist interview on Lisa Congdon’s blog.

20. ‘You Can’t Prepare Yourself’: A Conversation With Adele. Because, I’m obsessed.

21. Jimmy Fallon, Adele & The Roots Sing “Hello” (w/Classroom Instruments). Seriously: my brain = all Adele, all the time. Her voice here gives me goosebumps.

22. Sensitive-The Untold Story, a documentary.

23. Move Over Turducken, PIECAKEN Is The Dish To Beat This Thanksgiving. I don’t know how to feel about this…

24. 75 inspiring gratitude prompts from Positively Present. These would be great journal prompts or conversation starters.

25. December Encouragement Notes from Esmé Weijun Wang. This is a free offering. “I’m making this because I think we all need a little extra push and a little extra comfort in December, and because I’m grateful to all of you who make this online space something to be excited about.”

26. What is Literature for?

27. The World Will Be Saved By Waffles, a beautiful post by Erica Staab, which she ends with, “When we can offer a soft place to land for those we love, when we can share with one another our little acts of love, we light up the world. And we could all use a little more light in the world.”

28. Chronic Dieting: The Socially Acceptable Eating Disorder. I lived this, could have written this post, but since I didn’t, I’m so glad Caroline Dooner did.

29. The Real Difference Between Artists and Everyone Else. Spoiler alert: “Making things makes you an artist.”

30. My sister is a heroin addict. This isn’t my exact story, but I’m living a version of this and it sucks.

31. Pet Every Single Dog. This event on Facebook is so perfect. I’m in!

32. Flora Bowley’s Bloom True ecourse. “Enjoy 25% off my five-week, deep dish, transformational, painting course now through December 1st, and savor the freshly designed course at your own pace for one full year. You can also give this as the most rocking gift ever! Use coupon code: btgratitude to receive your discount.”

33. 24 Tweets That Will Make Every Nurse Laugh Out Loud.

34. World’s Largest Spice Company to Go Organic and Non-GMO by 2016. Cool.

35. Wisdom from Jeff Foster, “Heaven is this moment. Hell is the burning desire for this moment to be different. It’s that simple.” It’s also that complicated.

36. The Power in Writing About Yourself.

37. Love List Selfie, a little project and short interview I did with my dear friend Sherry Richert Belul.

38. Dharma of Writing Group a great offering from Susan Piver and Kate Lila Wheeler.

The Dharma of Writing is an ongoing two-hour online monthly gathering designed to help you enter your own writing with the support and companionship of other writers…At each session, we will practice meditation together and then actually write. Each person will work on his or her own project with the quiet, supportive companionship of writers all over the world. We will convene using the video conference platform, Zoom. Sessions will be recorded and links sent to all, so if you can’t join live you can still participate.

39. Wisdom from poet Andrea Gibson, (thanks to Jessica for the original share),

Just to be clear
I don’t want to get out
without a broken heart.
I intend to leave this life
so shattered
there better be a thousand separate heavens
for all of my separate parts.

40. This Man’s Wife Cries About Absolutely Anything So He Started Writing The Reasons Down.

40. Neil Gaiman and Georgina Chapman – Donate to UNHCR – UN Refugee Agency. “Together with UNHCR, international best-selling author, Neil Gaiman, and co-founder and designer of Marchesa, Georgina Chapman, are developing a storytelling project highlighting the Syrian refugee crisis.”

41. Couple Lets Their Dog Film Their Wedding And The Result Is Better Than Most Wedding Videos.

42. How to get out of a rut. Good advice.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric, American Lakes trail

1. Wisdom from Ishita Gupta, “Every woman in the world knows what she needs in the moment. Whether or not she gives it to herself is the question.”

2. Yoga meets art — create a life you love, on Rebelle Society. I must be tender from my weekend of yoga teacher training because this made me cry. Another good one from Rebelle Society is 13 Awesome Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People, which gives one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read of ME.

3. A Map of the Introvert’s Heart by an Introvert on Medium. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t understand me, this might help.

4. Wisdom from Mary Oliver, because every once in a while I need the reminder,

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

5. Wisdom from Krishna Das,

We constantly limit ourselves with our emotions and our desires and our stories. When we identify with that stuff, we don’t experience what’s underneath it. The only way to move deeper into your own heart is by doing some kind of spiritual practice, regularly, over time. That’s what helps us experience real love and gives us the strength to manifest changes in our lives.

6. Fiercely Being from Jonathan Fields. This one is important. If you don’t click any other link on this week’s list, please follow and read this one. And just in case you are going to ignore my plea, here’s the line where I tear up and put my hand over my heart each time I read it because the beauty and truth are so clear it almost breaks my heart, “What if your metric was…’Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve.‘”

7. You Are Not Late, by Kevin Kelly on Medium, (thanks to Austin Kleon for sharing the link in his newsletter).

8. the lively show: radical sincerity & mental health advocacy with esmé weijun wang, (originally shared by Pugly Pixel).

9. Alone in the Wilderness, a documentary that “tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park…covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness.” We got this from the library a few times and loved it. Someone has now made the full film available on YouTube.

10. Good stuff from Seth Godin: This is ours and The easy ride.

11. Why scales make you binge-eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

12. I love Lisa Congdon’s Words for the Day. These are some of recent my favorites: No. 22, No. 23, and No. 30. And also from Lisa, a beautiful post about marriage, On Marriage :: A Year Later.

13. Good stuff from Jeff Oaks: Habit and Nothing.

14. What Makes You Feel Free? by Saundra Goldman, (link shared by Stephanie).

15. A Bank Uses Its ‘ATMs’ To Say Thanks To Regular Customers In The Most Personalized and Heartfelt Way. Hint: It wasn’t Bank of America.

16. Be Full of Yourself, from Julie Daley.

17. Choose love, and have it be that simple from Sandi Amorim.

18. Rekindle Your Love for Simplicity from Be More With Less.

19. 31 Benefits of Free-Writing from Cynthia Morris.

20. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Only seek to be more of yourself.”

21. Wisdom from “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers),” shared by Sandi Amorim,

This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

22. African cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time.

23. Urban Jewelry: Lace Street Art by NeSpoon shared on This is Colossal.

24. 10 Ways to Recognize Orthorexia on New York Magazine.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, (read the full piece here),

Bodhichitta exists on two levels. First there is unconditional bodhichitta, an immediate experience that is refreshingly free of concept, opinion, and our usual all-caught-upness. It’s something hugely good that we are not able to pin down even slightly, like knowing at gut level that there’s absolutely nothing to lose. Second there is relative bodhichitta, our ability to keep our hearts and minds open to suffering without shutting down.

Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors — not warriors who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic undistorted energy of bodhichitta. We have many examples of master warriors — people like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King — who recognized that the greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds. They devoted their lives to helping others understand this truth. There are also many ordinary people who spend their lives training in opening their hearts and minds in order to help others do the same. Like them, we could learn to relate to ourselves and our world as warriors. We could train in awakening our courage and love.

26. I took this quiz, Which Jung Archetype Best Describes You? and got “The Caregiver.”

Jung identified this archetype in many goddesses and female role models throughout history. You’re the mother figure: the selfless caregiver and helper. Everyone comes to you for advice. You truly love others as yourself and your greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. You manifest compassion and generosity. A Jungian psychologist would tell you to be careful not to be taken advantage of and never let yourself play the martyr.

27. Lacy M. Johnson on The Art of Mourning, on Essay Daily.

28. A young man asks a homeless man to borrow his bucket, what happens next will burst you into tears.

29. I think I fucked this up from The Bloggess.

30. Be Your Own Guru, a Good Life Project Jam Session, another really good thing from Jonathan Fields.

31. Courageous Company with Anna Guest-Jelley: Why Wearing a T-Shirt Might Have Changed My Life.

32. 10 Smarter and Less Stressful Ways to Get Your Daily Work Done on the Positivity Blog.

33. 16 Of The Most Magnificent Trees In The World on Bored Panda.

34. Good stuff from Zen Habits: Inhabit the Moment and How to Master the Art of Living.

35. Doing everything wrong: Shame, truth-telling, and writing it out on Visible and Real. This line especially, “And if I am not Worthy, I move in one of two directions: Complete Shutdown or Overperforming. {Either end of this pendulum is exhausting.}” Word.

36. One of my favorite projects is Humans of New York. Brandon has a new book coming out. He says about it,

Little Humans is coming out in almost two months, and the first hardcopy has just arrived! It is awesome. Your child is guaranteed to giggle, point, and cheer. And if test readings are any indication, there is a 38.53% chance you will cry. It comes out October 7th — very excited about it.

37. Note from the Universe,

The absolute, most sure-fire way of physically moving in the direction of your dreams, Jill, on a day-to-day basis, without messing with the “cursed hows,” is living them, now, to any degree that you can.

38. Really good stuff from Medium: After (one of the best things I’ve ever read about the loss of a pet), and My Cousin is Not a Hero.

39. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

40. Dealing with anger before it deals with you from Paul Jarvis.

41. A Blessing from Ronna Detrick,

When you have questions, look to love. When you have doubts, turn toward love. When you wonder about next steps, let love be the deciding factor. And when you fear how it will all work out, trust in love.

I know it feels fearful to risk (and love) in these ways. I know you long for the certainty that the love you give will offer you the same in return. And I know that without guarantees, without promises, and without thought for your own safety, you will love anyway. It’s who you are. It’s what you do. And it’s the story for which you are known and named.

Speak. Risk. Stand. And love and love and love.