Category Archives: Geneen Roth

Something Good

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Wisdom from Kavita Ramdas,

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

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

10. Wisdom from Curvy Yoga.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27. On becoming silent… from Erica Staab.

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

29. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

37. Becoming One With Dharma by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Something Good

1. Pausing for Peace from Rachel Cole.

2. To The Fit Woman At Marketplace Foods on Huffington Post.

3. Illustrator Turns People’s Deepest And Darkest Fears Into Comics and Incredibly Detailed Hand-Cut Paper Art By Maude White and Creative Dad Turns His 3-Year-Old Daughter’s Sayings Into Hilarious Illustrations on Bored Panda.

4. The Pets in My Practice, an opinion piece on The New York Times.

5. Problems Only Book Lovers Understand from BuzzFeed.

6. How Does A Homeless Man Spend $100?

7. A Photo Essay: Succulent Magic on Rowdy Kittens.

8. The First Christmas… from Erica Staab. I know Christmas is over, but this is such a beautiful, important reminder, at any time of the year.

9. The Gift of Generosity from Phillip Moffitt on Dharma Wisdom.

10. 30 Days of Yoga from Yoga with Adriene. FREE! You could also check out her YouTube channel.

11. 25 of The Cutest Parenting Moments In The Animal Kingdom.

12. Building a Mindful New Year with Susan Piver and Lodro Rinzler. We are almost half way through the six days, but there is still so much wisdom available if you want to catch the end of the series.

13. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama, “Once you develop confidence in your own ability, you’ll be able to make a real contribution to creating a better world. Self-confidence is very important. Not in the sense of blind pride, but as a realistic awareness of what you can do.”

14. Wisdom from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross,

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

15. A fun project for people who can’t draw from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

16. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

17. Limbo: an Immigration Story by Brit Hanson.

18. A year in photos: the second half from Susannah Conway. My favorite is still the one of Noah in a pink tutu and boots dancing in front of the circus truck.

19. Your Year in Review: 50 Questions to Help You Reflect, Appreciate and Get Excited for 2015, shared on Positively Present Picks.

20. The Best Part Of Life Is Realizing Why It’s Better That Things Didn’t Work Out.

21. Wisdom from Geneen Roth:

Wanting is different from having. Wanting is in the future. It is based on an idea of what might make you happy in five minutes, tomorrow, next week. But having is here, now. Most of us don’t let ourselves have what’s in front of us, so we’re always wanting more. When you don’t let yourself have what you already have, you are always hungry, always searching, always restless.

So, here’s my suggestion: Let yourself have what you love. One piece of it, one little bit of it, each day. You need to start small so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. If you like chips, take one and sit down by yourself for three minutes. Smell it. Hold it up to the light. Rub it on your lips. Then take a small bite of the chip and notice how it tastes. You might discover that it’s the salt you want and not the rest of it. Or the crunch and not the salt. After you swallow, ask yourself if you want another bite. Be truthful with yourself. Notice if, when you ate that one bite, you were already thinking about the next one… and the next. Notice if, even as you read these words, you are saying to yourself, “I can’t be satisfied with just one little bite.” How do you know until you try?

22. Why I don’t care if you like me — According to Trish on Medium.

23. Goodbye :: Hello from Sue Ann Gleason. So beautiful.

24. The Success Indicator an infographic by MaryEllen Tribby.

Something Good

Every year, just after Thanksgiving, someone sneaks into the park where we walk our dogs and decorates three trees that stand next to the trail. This is the Charlie Brown one.

Every year, just after Thanksgiving, someone sneaks into the park where we walk our dogs and decorates three trees that stand next to the trail. This is the little Charlie Brown one.

1. Creative Living with Jamie has been named one of the Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepeneurs by Entrepreneur magazine! It’s really good. One of my favorite moments from the past year is when she interviewed me.

2. “It’s not about “giving up” control…”, wisdom from Isabel Foxen Duke.

3. Good stuff from Bored Panda: I Draw Pet Illustrations Based On Their Personalities, and This 5-Year-Old Girl Sneaked A Baby Cow Into Her Home To Cuddle With It, and 24+ Beautiful Ice And Snow Formations That Look Like Art.

4. True Stories Series: Maya Stein on 27 Powers.

5. Dear Woman on the Cusp from Rachel Cole. Her new offering, Feast, is so perfect for me that it feels like she created it just for me, but luckily for you, you can come along too if you’d like.

6. Life Was Perfect When Her Son Was Born. 14 Weeks Later, Everything Changed, on the importance of gratitude.

7. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook. And also from Liz, Karaoke wisdom.

8. Truthbomb #680 from Danielle LaPorte, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

9. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

We ache and bleed and suffer when we wish things were different than they are…and we don’t even realize that the thing that is really keeping us from healing is that we are simply not accepting things as they are, but we are still wishing things had happened differently, or not happened at all.

And this,

You will come across things in your life that just feel wrong, things that make you feel heavy or confused or wobbly or sideways. Something deep inside you will feel unsettled and you will know that you want to move away from that thing or that situation or even that person … Be willing to walk away from things that feel wrong.

10. A Note from the Universe, (I want to believe this so badly…)

Jill, if, way down deep, you can even slightly comprehend that time is an illusion and that space is just a stage, then it shouldn’t take much of a leap to realize how safe you are, how much magic there is, and most importantly, that there must exist a super-consciousness with wishes and dreams all its own, that include you.

11. Wisdom from Geneen Roth:

Ask yourself if what you are telling yourself is true. Is it true that your body is ugly? Don’t answer so fast! (I heard you!) Ask yourself to what and whom you are comparing yourself? To a younger version of yourself? To a 20-year-old or an actress who works out three hours a day? Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given, the place where love and joy and grief happen, where happiness unfolds. Do you really want to keep believing that it’s a horrible, ugly, lumpy thing? Do you really want to keep punching yourself like that? (Call me psychic, but I have a feeling that the answer is no.)

When you stop telling yourself stories about your body, about your eating, about your life, you stop having to eat to fix how awful you feel because you stop feeling awful. Then and only then can you actually figure out what is really true. What you really want. What you really feel. What you really believe.

Ask yourself what would happen if you stopped the incessant chatter about how lumpy or stretchy or ugly your body is. What would happen if, instead, you thanked your body for taking you this far. For schlepping packages and bearing children and making love. Then listen to it carefully to see what it needs.

12. The myth of finding your purpose, from Kris Carr. It’s an older post but one of the most important, still.

13. 50 Lessons From A Decade of Blogging from Leonie Dawson.

14. Let’s make some magic in 2015! Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead 2015 workbook (FREE), one of the practices I gift myself during this busy time of year. She’s also offering a FREE 5-day email class to help you figure out your word for 2015, Find Your Word.

15. This Blog is Going to Embarrass my Husband.

16. 5 Tips For Being An Ally from Chescaleigh.

17. The Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision and We Can’t Breathe from The Daily Show.

18. Wisdom from Ethan Nichtern,

It was wonderful to be among many thousands at the rally last night, even under such brutal and tragic circumstance. Right now it feels like my practice is all about awareness: increasing my own awareness of the people in this world who I habitually ignore or fail to see. We each have massive blind spots, and the first step in transformation is accepting that we live in a world where so many people remain unseen and unheard, and simply developing the courage to look. May all people feel seen, heard, and valued.

19. Anne Lamott discusses grief and forgiveness in Small Victories on Booktrib.

20. this was a good week? from Chookooloonks.

21. Little Humans Reading Little Humans.

21. Pine Ridge Holiday Project. “There is still time to provide a little holiday cheer to the people of Pine Ridge. We have plenty of names of elementary and junior high aged children. You can also send donations for firewood to be delivered to families and elders to help keep them warm and toasty. Please email forpineridge@gmail.com and let me know if you prefer to provide simple gifts for children or if you would like to make a donation for firewood. Thank you for your kindness and generosity! Chris and Julie.”

22. In related news: “Please consider donating $110.00 for a cord of fire wood for a family on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It is already freezing up there. A small group of Lakota gentlemen cut, deliver and stack the wood…so this provides income for the wood cutters as well as warmth for a family. Here is the link to Village Earth to donate firewood (tax deductible).”

23. 10 Habits of Happy, Healthy Couples from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

24. How to Change Your Life in Just 2 Minutes a Day: 10 Quick Habits from the Positivity Blog.

25. 5 Questions to Simplify Your Life During the Holidays from Zen Habits. Why limit it to the holidays? We should be asking ourselves these questions all year, the rest of our lives.

26. The Last 5 Most Frustrating Things about Simplicity from Be More with Less.

27. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Most Questions Can Be Boiled Down To (this brilliant image is from this post), and Interview with Reading Lives, and Video of my Show Your Work! chalktalk, and a link he shared to this amazing quote, Murdering A Book.

28. Six Causes of Procrastination And How to Overcome Them on Life is Limitless.

29. Shared on Positively Present Picks: 36 Prompts to Help You Plan an Awesome 2015.

30. A Lesbian Takes Her Niece To Meet A Princess, Is Mistaken For Her Dad, And…, another great TEDX Boulder talk from Ash Beckham.

31. Why Fat-Shaming By Doctors Really, Really Matters from xojane. Reading through the tweets tagged #diagnosisfat makes me so angry, so sad.

32. This Toddler’s Killer Dubstep Dance Moves Will Even Blow Skrillex Away. I am so in love with this little guy.

33. What’s next?, a set of really great prompts from Seth Godin.

Something Good

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

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

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

4. A million invisible threads from Andrea Scher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. My American Han.

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

17. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

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

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

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

20. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

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

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

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

23. Wisdom from Prince Ea,

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

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

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

26. nowhere to hide from Sas Petherick.

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

28. The Holy Yes from Meghan Genge.

29. free your shooting star from Marc Johns.

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

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

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

33. Note from the Universe,

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

34. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something Good

 

bouldershambhalacenter1. Success Redefined from Rachel Cole.

2. Truthbomb #668 from Danielle LaPorte, “Surprise your doubts with action.”

3. Grace of Beginning, lines from a John O’Donohue poem shared by Erica Staab.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awake your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

4. Rewriting the Book of Belonging: Anne Lamott on the True Gift of Friendship and the Uncomfortable Art of Letting Yourself Be Seen on Brain Pickings.

5. All Good Things from Pugly Pixel.

6. Pulling the trigger, a final post on This (Sorta) Old Life. This happens sometimes, and it’s good to honor it. I’m going to miss it though.

7. A Meditative Moon Salutation from Yoga International.

8. Good stuff from Bored Panda: I Create Installations In Public Spaces To Bring People Happiness, and A Coworker Asked This Guy To Watch Her Plant For 4 Days. Here’s What He Did, and 20+ Mesmerizing Mosque Ceilings That Highlight The Wonders Of Islamic Architecture.

9. {After} thoughts on Wellness by Design.

10. Why Fame Doesn’t Matter, with Dallas Clayton.

11. Recipe for Brussels Sprout Fried Rice from Kris Carr.

12. Good stuff from Buzzfeed: 42 Pictures That Will Make You Almost Too Happy and 40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative.

13. Know where you have power, and where you do not have power, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

14. Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits.

15. “Every year, 750,000 Chinese die prematurely from pollution.” This post includes disturbing images and facts. Maybe just skip this one. It’s not so much “something good” as shocking and heartbreaking, but it was also weirdly helpful to me, inspired me to do better, make better choices.

16. The Next 5 Most Frustrating Things About Simplicity from Be More With Less.

17. The YES Movement on Painted Path.

18. My Plan for a Free and Open Internet from President Obama on Medium.

19. The Experience of Enough an interview with Geneen Roth.

20. Learning To Read Tarot Cards on Free People.

21. I’m Wanting What I Want. You? from Rachael Maddox.

22. Afterlight 1080, “a short hand made film that explores both one’s inherent darkness and one’s inherent lightness.”

23. Austin Kleon: Show your work, video of his talk from Confab Higher Ed 2014, available to watch streaming for two more weeks.

24. The Life Of A Project from Steal Like An Artist. Such a great graphic.

25. Shared on Positively Present Picks list: Love Yourself Pinterest board, and 5 Life Lessons to Learn From Your Dog, and this quote from Nelson Mandela, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

26. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list, Sausage, Potato, Kale Soup recipe.

27. Shared on Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links list, Amanda Palmer on the Art of Asking and What Thoreau Teaches Us about Accepting Love on Brain Pickings.

28. From Chookooloonks this was a good week post, A Solar-Powered Glow-in-the-dark Bike Path by Studio Roosegaarde Inspired by Van Gogh.

29. What I Learned From a 30-Day Social Media Detox on Medium.

30. Good stuff from Create as Folk: Purpose Profile: Sarah Selecky, and this shared link to a post on Saray Selecky’s blog, Be grateful for your crazy, active mind, and Quitting Your Job? Don’t Be Dumb.

31. The 10 Most Important Questions You Can Ask Yourself Today from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

32. Wisdom from Terry Tempest Williams, shared in Hannah Marcotti‘s weekly love letter,

For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. . .

When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.

33. Why You Creating Stuff Matters from Jennifer Louden.

34. The “Breakthrough” Myth from Isabel Foxen Duke, in which she says,

Sanity around food is not something that we achieve once and then never have to think about ever again…sanity around food is a meditation  — a thought pattern — that we practice coming back to again and again, watching that thought pattern feel more natural overtime.

Little by little, our sane thinking patterns become easier to come back to,

Until at some point, practicing our new way of thinking creates grooves in our mind and we don’t have to actively remember anymore, it’s just happening — a new natural way of being takes over.

35. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, on why to meditate,

Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness… [We] work with cultivating gentleness, innate precision, and the ability to let go of small-mindedness, learning how to open to our thoughts and emotions, to all the people we meet in our world, how to open our minds and hearts.

License to Love Myself

theworstfilteredMy new driver’s license came in the mail yesterday. The picture is terrible. I can’t stand to even show you the full measure of it, can only bear to post this modified version. I expected it to be bad, but was shocked by just how bad. I wasn’t smiling because I was afraid I’d do that weird blank stare I sometimes do when I smile for a picture, or that I’d do that thing where I squint one eye so much smaller than the other, or that other thing where I tuck in my chin so that it completely disappears. In trying to avoid all those things I just look annoyed. It looks more like a mugshot. They tell you to look down because the light of the camera is so bright they don’t want you looking directly into it, and move your hair away from your face because they are using “facial recognition software” (um, wait, where did I agree to that?!), which made made me do the thing where my chin disappears anyway. One side of my collar is also flipped weird. The capture makes me look heavy and sloppy and mean.

Change, if it is to be long lasting, must occur on the unseen levels first. With understanding, inquiry, openness. ~Geneen Roth

You try to feel good about your body, okay about who you are, accepting and gentle and kind, and then your new driver’s license comes in the mail and the picture they took of you is so bad, and you have to live with it for the next five years, no Retake Day like for school pictures. But I’m not worried. My prediction is that in five years when I get a new license and a new picture, I’ll finally be in my authentic body. I’m not saying that I will necessarily look any different, but rather that my true self will be embodied in a way it just isn’t right now. This body is so tired, swollen with the expectations and judgments and criticisms it’s carried, puffed up by things that don’t belong to it, burdened by all the ways it’s been hurt, holding the weight of all the stuff I haven’t been able to release. This body is not free … yet. And still, I am free to love it, utterly and completely.

I made a list a while back of the 25 reasons I carry extra weight. At some point, I’ll dig it out and share it with you. What I can say for now is a lot of it has to do with protecting myself, having a physical barrier between myself and the world. So some of it is a choice, but some of it isn’t — cultural expectations, social norms, the way my metabolism has been ruined by years of starving myself to meet them, genetics, hormones, an autoimmune disorder, other mysterious imbalances, the food I eat, how I move, my environment, injury. My body and the way it works is a puzzle, a mystery. I’m only now giving myself permission to figure it out for myself, to know and understand what it needs, enjoys, and how to heal it, keep it healthy and happy and strong. It’s been interfered with, bullied, abused for so long. I’m not going to let that happen anymore.

 

Something Good

miniaturepeonies1. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “Let yourself be a perfectly imperfect human being. Let yourself feel what you need to feel and process your life the way you need to process it. Let yourself BE in all your beautifully imperfect human-ness. And give everyone else the same grace.”

2. Don’t be original; be obvious.

3. 33 thoughts on reading (A manifesto of sorts) from Austin Kleon.

4. Dear Homeless Guy: I Don’t Care If You Buy Crack With The Dollar I Gave You on Medium. The last line of this really has me thinking.

5. Write from a full cup from Alexandra Franzen.

6. Truthbomb #648 from Danielle LaPorte, “I don’t want to change the world. I want to love it.”

7. Permission from Glenda Burgess, (thanks for sharing, Lindsey).

8. reasons for my leaving from lists and letters.

9. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more from Claws Carefully Sheathed.

10. Wisdom from Rachael Maddox, “Maybe the magic that was missing all along was the will to be all the way true to the call of your brilliant heart.”

11. Learning to Measure Time in Love and Loss on The New York Times, Modern Love.

12. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön

Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I find security and happiness?” we could ask ourselves, “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace — disappointment in all its many forms — and let it open me?” This is the trick.

13. 33 Mantras to Quickly Calm Your Stress Response: Because you deserve to live with ease. Sandra Pawula on Medium.

14. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Ultimate Forgiveness and Preach.

15. Wisdom from Phillip Moffitt,

The truth is that you will never be absolutely safe. All things change constantly, even what is most precious. You know that you and those you love will die, but not when or how. This is the angst of life, the price of being a conscious human being. It is not a flaw, although many people cannot let loose of seeing it in such a manner. It is just the way life is constructed. When your awareness of this vulnerability is triggered, you can be swept into panic, collapse into depression, or desperately try to distract yourself. One of the values of spiritual practice is that you are able to come to terms with this anxiety in a conscious manner. Your life becomes more integrated because you are no longer trying to deny or avoid what is true.

16. It Happened to Me: I Taught Fitness and Failed a Fat Test from Sadie Chanlett-Avery.

17. Wisdom from Rebecca Lindenberg, “I think there is a general misconception that you write poems because you ‘have something to say.’ I think, actually, that you write poems because you have something echoing around in the bone-dome of your skull that you cannot say.”

18. If People Were Honest About Women’s Bodies from BuzzFeed Video.

19. What Happens When Cross-Species Best Friends Reunite After Five Years? Hint: someone makes a video, I watch it and sob.

20. Wisdom from Adrienne Rich, “All new learning looks at first like chaos.”

21. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, “When you stop shaming and blaming and feeding the desire to be someone else with a different life, the war with food ends as well.”

22. a ghost’s schedule from Marc Johns. I love this so much.

23. Dear Body: I’m sorry for mistreating you on Hello Giggles.

24. 28 Teeny Tiny Wild Mice on Bored Panda.

25. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “Is it time to simplify? Instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place, maybe it’s time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you. Then let the rest go so that you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things.”

26. An Itty Bitty White Lie from Rachel Cole. Reason #238 why I love her.

27. Awake in the World: Waking Up Without Words — Ikebana by Alexandra Shenpen.

27. Wisdom from Hafiz,

I should not make any promises right now,
But I know if you
Pray
Somewhere in this world –
Something good will happen.

Satya Robyn shared this on Facebook today, and followed it with some wisdom of her own, “Pray, give thanks, ask for help, admit something to yourself or another human being, listen carefully, be kind, eat chocolate, stop blaming, love everything. It all works.”

28. To Hear the Falling World by Jane Hirshfield. (Thanks for sharing, Jessica).

Only if I move my arm a certain way,
it comes back.
Or the way the light bends in the trees
this time of year,
so a scrap of sorrow, like a bird, lights on the heart.
I carry this in my body, seed
in an unswept corner, husk-encowled and seeming safe.
But they guard me, these small pains,
from growing sure
of myself and perhaps forgetting.

29. There’s A New “Marcel The Shell” Video And It’s Freaking Adorable.

30. Wisdom from Sogyal Rinpoche, “Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life reveals just the opposite: that letting go is the path to freedom.”

31. you are your own damn permission slip from Justine Musk. Word.