Category Archives: Jeff Oaks

Something Good

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

1. Fuck That! A Manifesto from Gala Darling.

2. More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think.

3. How not to talk to people with an eating disorder.

4. A Tiny Hamster And A Hedgehog Had A Tiny Tiki Party Because The Internet Is Amazing.

5. Nepal Earthquake Relief Coalition.

6. A Variety of Unprocessed Foods Cut into Uncannily Precise 2.5cm Cubes by Lernert & Sander.

7. Release Tension in the Psoas. “Our yoga practice is an opportunity to undo this chronic tension, and establish a deep and abiding sense of harmony in the body and mind.”

8. The Secret Life of a Scorpio on Elephant Journal.

9. 23 Brilliant Life Lessons From Anthony Bourdain.

10. Rats try to rescue others in distress, suggesting they feel empathy.

11. How to Get Rid of Clutter You Care About from Be More with Less.

12. In the Garden, May 14 on SouleMama.

13. How to Get Your Spouse on Board for Your Career Change from Laura Simms.

14. 3 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be on Marc and Angel Hack Life.

15. the stylists: little nicki on SF Girl by Bay.

16. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, two different messages, both ones I needed to hear,

Dear Spread-Too-Thin Girl….

Is it time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you, and let the rest go so that you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things…instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place?

Your heart knows when it’s time…and you will have the strength to do it.

And best of all…you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy.

It may not look like the most glamorous life….but it is one filled with joy, peace and harmony….one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion…one where worries are few…where long meaningful conversations are many…..one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there.

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts.

Is it time to simplify?

Simplify today…..one little thing at time. You can do it.

AND

Dear Wise Girl,

Having a rough day? Stop and take a breath, and remember it’s important to stick to the facts, because we often make things up in our heads that get us into a tizzy that is hard to get out of. Fears are mean little fabulists.

Think about everything you have feared in your life, or even for the last 30 days. Think about what you have feared for the last 24 hours, in fact. Think about the stories that you made up in your head about those fierce fears, about all of the terrible and scary and devastating things that surrounded those fears, about how if those things happened, they would surely ruin your life.

Now think about whether or not ANY of those things came to pass, and whether they really did devastate your life. Sure, some yucky things actually DO happen, but a large majority of our fears are stories that we make up in our heads that never ever happen. Yet we waste SO MUCH TIME on them. Aren’t we silly creatures?

So stick to the facts. And if the facts are harsh and look like they might yield some difficult consequences, think about the WORST thing that could possibly happen, and then ask yourself if you could live through it and be okay. See? YOU CAN! And YOU WILL!!

Because you are a brave, brave girl.

17. On Unplugging from Work & Embracing Adventure from Rowdy Kittens.

18. Dear Writers: None Of Us Know What The Fuck We’re Doing on Terrible Minds. tl;dr:

The Five Constants:
1. Write A Lot (And To Completion)
2. Read A Lot (And Read Critically When You Do)
3. Think About Writing And Storytelling
4. Talk To Writers
5. Go Live A Life

19. A Guy Secretly Filmed His Mom For A Year To Help Her Find A Boyfriend.

20. Practicing Non-Judgment on Zen Habits.

21. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s newsletter: Dear universe (form letter), and Karr to Syracuse grads: Don’t compare your twisted-up insides to others’ blow-dried outsides and a video of the same speech, and In a Mother’s Library, Bound in Spirit and in Print.

22. Video: 100 years of Aging a Soon-to-be Married Couple.

23. Man Cleans Up Entire River On His Way To Work.

24. The Last Day of Her Life, “When Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when?”

25. At the Coffeehouse by Jeff Oaks.

26. Melissa McCarthy has powerful words for image-obsessed Hollywood.

27. The Heart and the Bottle: A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions on Brain Pickings.

Something Good

1. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 7 Things to Remember When You Feel Discouraged and Defeated and 10 Courageous Ways to Live Life Without Regrets.

2. Good stuff from Derrick Clifton: 10 Celebrities Who Had the Perfect Response to Fat Shaming and Kelly Clarkson’s Response to Criticism of Her Weight Deserves a Standing Ovation.

3. Wisdom from John Lubbock:

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

4. Classic Vegan Caesar with Avocado & Chickpeas recipe. Looks yummy.

5. Bill Murray’s Dharma Talk on What It’s Like to Be You.

6. Why I stopped giving a shit about my size.

7. Questions of Priority on Zen Habits.

8. Good stuff from Be More With Less: The Life Altering Practice of Making Cuts and The Challenge of Not Doing.

9. 3 Ways to Responsibly and Compassionately Respond to Panhandling.

10. 39 Stunning Images Of Women At Work All Over The World.

11. Pieces about Lisa Bonchek Adams on The New York Times: Lisa Bonchek Adams Dies at 45; Chronicled Fight With Breast Cancer and Remembering Lisa Adams.

12. After decades in prison, first day outside a shock for Colorado parolee, the first in a five-part series on former inmate Kevin Monteiro and the state’s parole system.

13. How I learned to live in my body from Susannah Conway.

14. how to dismantle the patriachy from Sas Petherick.

15. From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself on The New York Times Magazine.

16. Telling Them a Story from Laurie Wagner.

17. The Side of the Oklahoma Racist Frat Story That Nobody Is Talking About.

18. Good stuff on Medium: Why Work Is Broken: The Changing Face of Vocation and Why It Matters, and I’m Not Pregnant, and Why I Live At The P.O.

19. Kids Are Super Ultra Mega Fucking Weird on Terrible Minds.

20. 3 Reasons Your Employees Hate Their Jobs.

21. Dutch students can live in nursing homes rent-free (as long as they keep the residents company).

22. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Rescued Magpie Becomes Lifelong Friend With The Family That Saved Her Life and Urban Treehouse Uses 150 Trees To Protect Residents From Noise And Pollution.

23. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

In the early seventies a friend kept telling me, “Whatever you do, don’t try to make those feelings go away.” His advice went on: “Anything you can learn about working with your sense of discouragement or your sense of fear or your sense of bewilderment or your sense of feeling inferior or your sense of resentment—anything you can do to work with those things—do it, please, because it will be such an inspiration to other people.”

That was really good advice. So when I would start to become depressed, I would remember, “Now wait a minute. Maybe I just have to figure out how to rouse myself genuinely, because there are a lot of people suffering like this, and if I can do it, they can do it.” I felt a sense of interconnectedness. “If a schmuck like me can do it, anybody can do it.” That’s what I used to say, that if a miserable person like me—who’s completely caught up in anger and depression and betrayal—if I can do it, then anyone can do it, so I’m going to try.

24. the ripple effect, redux from Chookooloonks.

25. Baby Steps from Jeff Oaks.

26. Homeless Former U.N.C. Player Balks at Efforts to Help Him from The New York Times.

27. Wisdom from Jiddu Krishnamurti, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

28. Confessions of an Uneducated Queer, by Lauren Zuniga.

29. Ellie Goulding – Take Me to Church (Cover).

30. Ebola Survivor Ashoka Mukpo: “I Knew I Had to Practice” on Lion’s Roar.

31. Diet doesn’t cure disease. And it’s irresponsible to say otherwise from Sarah Wilson.

32. Paul Kalanithi, writer and neurosurgeon, dies at 37 and his essays How Long Have I Got Left? and Before I Go.

33. Good stuff from Tiny Buddha: 52 Ways to Tell Someone You Love and Appreciate Them and 40 Ways to Give Yourself a Break.

34. Make Yourself Comfortable from Rachel Cole.

35. Finding Your Personal Magic (and Mine) on The Mojo Lab.

36. How to Use Your Work to Get a Better Life from Laura Simms.

37. What Yoga Taught Me About the Balanced Life on The New York Times.

38. The Problem With ‘Fat Talk’ on The New York Times.

39. 10 things I learned while writing my last book from Austin Kleon.

40. Shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: Frittata Two Ways + New Zealand and 23 Things Only People Who Love Spending Time Alone Will Understand.

41. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: Say Something Sunday – Fat Joke Edition and Body Shaming Baby Onesies.

42. Water For Elephants Author Sara Gruen Reflects On The Life Of A Writer.

43. Wisdom from Anne Lamott, “I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.”

44. Double and half (freelancer math) from Seth Godin.

45. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: Your reasons will always win the battle, and Email guidelines for the world, and Gold Interview with Alexandra Franzen.

46. #36: Food Sanity, a podcast interview with Isabel Foxen Duke.

47. Wisdom from Eve Ensler, (thanks for sharing, Kirsten),

I was raised in America. All value lies in the future, in the dream, in production. There is no present tense. There is no value in what is, only in what might be made or exploited from what already exists. Of course the same was true for me. I had no inherent value. Without work or effort, without making myself into something significant, without proving my worth, I had no right or reason to be here. Life itself was inconsequential unless it led to something. Unless the tree would be wood, would be house, would be table, what value was there to tree?

48. What Keeps Me Up at Night (and It’s Not My Bladder) by Lisa Sadikman.

Something Good

Mount McConnel Trail, image by Eric

Mount McConnel Trail, image by Eric

1. Alina Baraz & Galimatias, who I’ve been listening to a lot lately.

2. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson, “If you’re only willing to scratch the surface, you will never satisfy the itch.”

3. A Whole Decade from Brittany Herself.

4. Good stuff on Tricycle: The Mindfulness Solution and Guided Meditation with Venerable Pannavati.

5. 9 Great Yoga YouTube Channels.

6. Medicating Women’s Feelings on The New York Times.

7. List of Emoticons for Facebook, something I use quite a bit.

8. Watch These Young Girls Recite Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman”… It’s Awesome.

9. Andrea Gibson performs The Nutritionist.

10. She Hasn’t Changed Her Home For 72 Years. When You See What’s Inside, Your Jaw Will Drop!

11. I love myself enough to do what it takes (to get well)- PART 1 of a series about adrenal fatigue, chronic hives, hormone imbalance, weight gain, emotional healing, etc. etc. etc. from Melody Ross of Brave Girls Club.

12. On Knowing Our Own Minds from Dani Shapiro. “Our most creative thoughts and ideas spring from a ritualized dream time. In the absence of this dream time we become mechanized, robotic, detached from our inner lives.” Word.

13. Fuck the lie that we can have it all from Renegade Mothering.

14. Something Wild from Sunni Chapman.

15. Tiny Beautiful Things on Call Me Ishmael.

16. Things Black Men Are Tired Of Hearing.

17. Douglas Adams made me a writer: Neil Gaiman salutes his friend and inspiration.

18. Kindness Blog, “Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations. Because Kindness Changes Everything.”

19. Wisdom from the 17th Karmapa,

Sometimes when we practice dharma we think that we need to show some sort of external or physical sign of it. We pay a lot of attention to the rituals and these actions of our body and speech. This is practicing dharma when we’re focusing outside. But instead what we need to do is turn our attention inwards. We need to see whether what we’re doing is functioning as an antidote to the afflictions or not. We need to see whether we are taming our mind or not. We need to see whether our mind is improving, getting kinder, or not. If we don’t look at it in this way then there’s no benefit to doing these actions – we think that we are trying to do the dharma, but actually we are just making a show with our body and speech. We are putting on appearances, and that’s all we really take an interest in. And the moment that happens, this becomes spiritual materialism.

20. Good stuff on Medium: A world without advice, and Cabin Fever (P.S. I’ve seen the documentary mentioned at least four times), and I Know the Rules- I Just Don’t Care, and Parenting Advice: Don’t Kill Them.

21. Wisdom Pema Chödrön, from her book The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World,

Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.

22. Their Dying Wishes on The New York Times.

23. You Will Survive from Jack Kornfield.

24. I Eat in the Light Now from Curvy Yoga.

25. A World Gone Mad from Rachel Cole.

26. #continuouspractice – A month and a half in {with a message} from Visible and Real.

27. chocolate chocolate-chip cake, redux: the gluten-free edition on Chookooloonks.

28. UC Berkeley Students Hold Teach-In for Their Racist Professor.

29. Jessamyn Stanley talks about life, yoga as therapy, and internet love and hate on Body Positive Yoga.

30. An Open Letter to Kid Rock About the Word ‘Gay’ on Esquire.

31. A Beautiful Thing on Just Lara.

32. The Real World of the Writing Life on The Missouri Review.

33. He is black. He is privileged. And all of that concerns his parents.

34. The Man Who Snuck Into the Ivy League Without Paying a Thing.

35. Neil Gaiman’s ‘Trigger Warning’, a Sunday Book Review on The New York Times.

36. One Man Holds a PATENT That Could Crush MONSANTO and Change The World.

37. 15 People From Around the World Next to the Amount of Food They Eat Each Day.

38. Spring Breaks from Jeff Oaks.

39. Reexamining the Reblog.

40. Mary Lambert on Embracing Sanity, Remaking ‘Jessie’s Girl’ for Lesbians from Rolling Stone.

41. The Futility of Always Pushing Myself to Be More on Zen Habits.

42. Shared on this was a good week from Chookooloonks: Highlights from Apple’s Favorite Photos Shot with iPhones, and Blue – Color//Colour Lovers, and 22 Contemporary Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading, and a time lapse of a cactus blooming.

43. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Interview on the Stacking Benjamins podcast and The So What? Test.

44. Shared on Happy Links: this Instagram account of illustrator Ann-Mari Reigstad.

45. Deaf Man Told To “Look Over There.” When He Does, You’ll Bawl Like A Baby!

46. Navigate Your Life: Chris Zydel from Jennifer Louden.

47. Time lost and found from Anne Lamott.

48. Teachers, are you accidentally shaming your students? How to Make Yoga Class More Inclusive by Amber Karnes.

49. 9 Ways to Feel Less Stress When Life Gets Crazy Busy from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Isabel Foxen Duke,

YES, I truly, love and accept my body exactly the way it is — I think it’s cute, I think it’s sexy, and I like the way it looks in my clothes. But that doesn’t mean everyone else thinks so.

The unfortunate reality is that while, I choose not to participate in body-shaming, body manipulating activities (like diets), that doesn’t mean other people aren’t, OR that other people don’t think I should.

No matter how “okay” I am with my body personally, I still have to navigate living in an insanely fat-phobic, thin-privileged, diet-culture world. And that will likely continue to be the case until the day I die (although, God knows I’m doing everything in my power to try and change it).

A big part of doing “body image work” means learning how to handle having different opinions about weight, beauty, and/or “health,” than other people. And that’s something that, unfortunately, doesn’t go away.

At the end of the day, accepting our bodies doesn’t mean that life becomes all rainbows and unicorns — it simply means that instead of making the globally pervasive thin-ideal our problem, we start to see it for what it is: society’s problem.

2. The First 5 Most Frustrating Things About Simplicity (plus solutions) from Be More With Less.

3. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: Standard Out of Office Messages Are Boring. Try This Instead, and Good Question, and What are you devoted to creating… in the new year? [a worksheet to help you focus & find the right words].

4. A Better Organizational Strategy: Throw Away Everything That Doesn’t Make You Happy.

5. “On the All of It” – Going Om from Marianne Elliott. (Thanks for sharing, Tina).

6. The tiny cost of failure from Seth Godin.

7. Good stuff from Medium: How to live like a motherfucker, How to Write, Tell a four-word story, What Habits Are Best for Creativity?, and On Kindness.

8. The Quickstart Guide to Quitting a Bad Habit on Zen Habits.

9. Let yourself have days to be a perfectly imperfect human being from Brave Girls Club.

10. I Won’t Let You Down by OKGo.

11. Shared on Positively Present Picks: Weekend Do: Rest and Reset and Amy Poehler’s Radical Niceness.

12. 9 Essential Books That Will Transform Your Writing Forever, shared on Tammy’s Happy Links list.

13. The Here Year: Wellness on A Design So Vast.

14. Where Would You Sleep In This 86-Square-Foot Paris Apartment?

15. Wisdom from Krishna Das, “Love is what we are; we don’t get it from somebody, we can’t give it to anybody, we can’t fall in it or fall out of it. Love is our true Being.” Also from Krishna Das,

As far as I’m concerned the only thing we need to renounce is our self-hatred and judgement of ourselves, and our sense of unworthiness, and our sense that we are not worthy of love. This is where we should start. If we could just work with that place a little bit the whole quality of our lives would change.

16. This Woman Set Up An Instagram To Show The Shocking Truth Of Being A Woman Online on BuzzFeed.

17. Wisdom from Dan Pearce,

Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It’ll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called “perfection,” which will open the doors to the most important relationships you’ll ever be a part of.

18. Addiction recovery takes body as well as spirit, a piece about Jennifer Matesa and her new book, (it’s SO good), The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober.

19. Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper. How to Not Cheat on Your Creative Life. from Rachael Maddox.

20. Molly Crabapple’s 15 rules for creative success in the Internet age.

21. Truthbomb #659 from Danielle LaPorte, “Take up space.”

22. Comfortable: 50 People 1 Question.

23. Anne Lamott: “We stuffed scary feelings down, and they made us insane” on Salon, in which she says,

Grief is just so scary. Our grief and rage just terrify us. If we finally begin to cry all those suppressed tears, they will surely wash us away like the Mississippi River. That’s what our parents told us. We got sent to our rooms for having huge feelings. In my family, if you cried or got angry, you didn’t get dinner.

We stuffed scary feelings down, and they made us insane. I think it is pretty universal, all this repression leading to violence and fundamentalism and self-loathing and addiction. All I know is that after 10 years of being sober, with huge support to express my pain and anger and shadow, the grief and tears didn’t wash me away. They gave me my life back! They cleansed me, baptized me, hydrated the earth at my feet. They brought me home, to me, to the truth of me.

24. Wisdom from the Journey of Love deck by Alana Fairchild, (shared by Susannah Conway),

There are many teachers on this path, some humble, some wise, some great companions on your life journey and some who will enter in and out of your life quickly, perhaps imparting a helpful word or teaching you a more challenging lesson about trusting and relying upon your own wisdom. The greatest teacher, however, is Life itself. You can trust your own experiences and know that it is the divine spark within you, the life within you, that is the one true teacher who carries you home in reawakened reunion with the Divine.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

The Buddhist master Shantideva set forth a path for training in spiritual warriorship. In his text The Way of the Bodhisattva, he explains how the bodhisattva or spiritual warrior begins the journey by looking honestly at the current state of his or her mind and emotions. The path of saving others from confusion starts with our willingness to accept ourselves without deception.

You would think that a training whose intention was to prepare us to benefit others would focus exclusively on other people’s needs. But the majority of Shantideva’s instructions entail working skillfully with our own blind spots. Until we do this, we are in the dark about how other people feel and what might soothe them.

26. Wisdom from Susan Piver,

Meditation is more than a technology to employ on the path to success or even health. It is a method for communicating with your own brilliance. It is a way to relate with the mystery of your life. Something, everything, is trying to communicate with you. When we use meditation as a means to instruct our reality rather than listen to it, the magic disappears.

27. Because I Love to Make You Laugh and Why I Failed Nutrition Coaching 101 from Sue Ann Gleason. The video at the end is still making me laugh.

28. Why You Have To Destroy Doubt To Create The Life You Want on MindBodyGreen.

29. none of it was a mistake on Effervescence.

30. Wisdom from Jo Pillmore, “We are not here to be perfect. We are here to be whole.”

31. Free Mandala Workshop from Julie Gibbons.

32. Beautiful Things, River Teeth’s weekly column which “features very brief nonfiction that finds beauty in the every day.”

Glimpses, glimmers, meditations, moments, reflections, refractions, interrupted shadows, river shimmers, darkened mirrors, keyholes, kaleidoscopes, earring hoops, slabs of cracked granite, cracks where the light gets in. Beautiful things.

33. Little Hamster Bartenders Serving Tiny Food and Drinks on Bored Panda.

34. What Has Become Clear from Gerri Smalley.

35. Woman Photoshops Herself Into Her Mom’s Childhood Pictures For Touching Photo Series.

36. Note from the Universe, “If you keep asking ‘May I?’ Jill, I’ll keep asking ‘Will you?’ It’s never been up to me.

37. Holiday Hungers from Rachel Cole.

38. Thrive on Chookooloonks.

39. What It’s Like As a Bartender to Watch Your Awkward Tinder Date.

40. Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ Fits Almost TOO Perfectly With Aerobic Dance Video From 1989. Having lived through the Jane Fonda french cut leotard and big bangs era myself, this made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

41. Wisdom from Galway Kinnell, (shared by Lindsey),

To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.

42. Ready as I’ll ever be, from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

43. Where to Begin? Judith Kitchen from Jeff Oaks.

44. The Disease of Being Busy from On Being.

45. After A Death, Should We Get A Dog? Brain Study Signals “Yes.”

46. Navigate Your Life: Anna Guest-Jelley, an interview with Jennifer Louden.

47. Wisdom from Jen Lemen,

i don’t know if this path is for everyone.
i don’t know if it should be.
but if it is for you, i know how incredibly painful it is to pretend otherwise, and how difficult it is to constantly question yourself because you have this pain and this truth pulsing inside you that makes it nearly impossible to blow anything off or to try to be like everyone else.

48. Antonya Nelson’s Ten Writing Rules.

Something Good

1. Wisdom from The Zen of an Aching Heart by Jack Kornfield,

Sometimes suffering the losses and the unexpected betrayals and break-ups that befall each of us becomes the places where we grow deepest in our capacity to lead an authentic and free life. Often by working our way through our difficulties, our ability to love and feel compassion for ourselves and others deepens, along with the wisdom that will help us through similar problems in the future. And learning how to survive our present difficulties is one of the few things that will help us to know the right things to say and do when others whom we love suffer as well.

2. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, The Most Important Words of My Life and Don’t Live Somebody Else’s Dream.

3. Why I Will Never Use Microsoft Word Again by Jeff Goins.

4. Real Love Is a Choice on Huffington Post.

5. Simplicity is Not a Destination from Be More With Less.

6. Healing for the Inner Good Girl from Mara Glatzel.

7. Wisdom from Anna Guest-Jelley‘s newsletter,

I’ve recently been reading The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be by Mark Nepo…I wanted to share with you one of the gems from the book that I’m continuing to carry in my heart: “No matter how hard we work, the aim and purpose of practice is not to be done with it, but to immerse ourselves so completely in life by any means that we for the moment, are life itself living. Excellence, if we achieve it, is a welcome by-product of complete immersion. But the reward for practice is a thoroughness of being.”

8. How to train for your writing marathon from Sarah Selecky.

9. My Sweet Lil Fifties Rig, Reborn! from Laura Resau.

10. Raising Geeks from Brittany, Herself.

11. This Humans of New York post, “Before medical school I was really into music.” He has the most beautiful voice, like make you want to cry beautiful.

12. “When I Meander, I Discover”: A Q & A with Dani Shapiro.

13. This Is the Human Behind “Humans of New York.”

14. 22 Perfect Ways To Respond To A Text From Your Ex from BuzzFeed.

15. Wisdom from Mark Van Doren, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

16. Why I Put Down That Green Smoothie on Elephant Journal.

17. 3 Buddhist Beliefs That Will Rock Your World (And Make You Much Happier!) on MindBodyGreen.

18. Letters to the Living No. 5: On Gentleness, Wrestling with a Wounded Angel.

19. 9 Year-Old Spanish Boy Becomes Young Wildlife Photographer Of The Year on Bored Panda.

20. Natty Valencia Fixes Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.”

21. Wisdom from John Muir, (by way of Jessica Patterson), “Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.”

22. Brittany Maynard, 29-Year-Old With Terminal Cancer, Explains Why She’s Delaying Ending Her Life. And sadly, just a few days after I watched the latest video, this: Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life.

23. This Upsetting Video Shows One Woman’s Street Harassment In A Single Day, and the parody video, This Is What Walking In New York City As A White Man Looks Like, both on BuzzFeed.

24. Beautiful, brutal wisdom from Isabel Abbott, remember and release: a list of love and letting go and Where Memories Dwell.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word that means “noble or awakened heart.” …It is equated, in part, with our ability to love. It is said that in difficult times, it is only bodhichitta that heals. When inspiration has become hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself.

26. A Life Enchanted.

27. Gathering my selves from Susannah Conway.

28. 30 Days To Better Hand-Lettering E-Course, shared on Positively Present Picks.

29. This quote about how being an artist is different from being “a lawyer, scholar, mechanist, typist, scientist, production assistant, or what-have-you.”

30. Pen & Ink, Tattoos & The Stories Behind Them on Medium.

31. all of me from Lisa Field-Elliot.

32. Carolyn’s Lovely, Freeing Eating Guide from Rachel Cole.

33. Maintenance: some notes from Jeff Oaks.

34. Not If, But When from Dani Shapiro.

35. Wisdom from David James Duncan,

If we feel the Unspeakable and then try to speak of what we felt, we sound like fools. But if we feel the Unspeakable and don’t speak, we feel like ingrates. I’m inclined toward gratitude. So, foolishly, I speak.

36. what I think you should eat from seed & feather. I can’t agree more with this:

So what do I think people should eat? Here’s the list.
1. Enough.
2. What you need.
3. Whatever you want.

37. How To Exercise Out Of Self-Love And Not Due To Fat-Shaming. Amen.

38. Which reminds me of some of my favorite lines of poetry from Osho,

Don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Move the way love makes you move.
Move the way joy makes you move.

39. The 9 Most Overlooked Threats to a Marriage from Huffington Post.

40. Susan Piver talking about the four noble truths of relationships. So good.

Something Good

1. My Sisters, The Sugar Junkies on Guinevere Gets Sober.

2. The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober, Jennifer Matesa’s latest book which releases in a few days. I was lucky enough to get an early copy, and it’s so so so good. It gives you the research, the facts, and examples of the stories of various specific people, as well as Jennifer’s own story of addiction and recovery. As with her other writing, this book is brutal in its truth, but elegantly written, compassionate, and so helpful.

3. I am so in love with the new banner on Rowdy Kittens. Tammy shared a link to the site of the artist who created it, and the first post on her blog is all about an offer she’s making to illustrate blog headers. I have been thinking about the site I’m building for the work I’ll be doing teaching and writing, and I am so excited about the opportunity to commission Philippa. Her work is exactly what I was picturing in my head. Thanks, Tammy!

4. 27 Stressful Things You Tolerate Too Often from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

5. Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and apples recipe from Back to Her Roots. Roasted brussel sprouts are one of my favorite things.

6. Who is in charge of you? Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook. My favorite line is this: “ultimately, other people can only help me; they cannot save me.” Also from Elizabeth on Facebook, Every Journey is a Spiritual Journey and The Most Strangely Reassuring Advice I Ever Received.

7. 5 Signs You Are Coming Alive on Rebelle Society.

8. Wisdom from Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

9. Wisdom from Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche, “Try to see all your joys and sorrows as if you were watching a movie, letting go of of the idea that you have to strive hard to avoid what is unpleasant. This will make your happiness indestructible.” (Thanks for sharing, Sandra).

10. ST. VINCENT – Official Trailer (2014) [HD]. This movie has some of my favorite actors. Anyone seen it yet?

11. The Dark Knight of the Soul on The Atlantic, which discusses the potential dark side of meditation.

12. Wisdom from Walt Whitman, “I am larger, better than I thought, I did not know I held so much goodness.”

13. Deep Thoughts From a Late Bloomer on Flingo.

14. A Loving Pledge to Smarten the Fuck Up on Rebelle Society.

15. At The Age Of 29, Brittany Is Ending Her Life In A Courageous Way.

16. Talking to a Dead Man: Conversation with a Gang Member in Detroit on Medium. The man in question says at one point, “More kids mean more poverty, more crime when they join the gangs, more trouble for everyone. It should just all end with us dying.” I sure hope there’s another way…

17. Video: Here’s Life Inside A Bed-Stuy Squat. So incredibly sad.

18. Mary Lambert talks her new album, new girlfriend and new attitude with the New York Post.

19. Wisdom from Tara Brach, “Mindfulness is a pause — the space between stimulus and response: that’s where choice lies.”

20. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa,

It is said in the texts that those who have attained the highest level of enlightenment suffer more than ordinary people. Their suffering is like the difference between having a hair in your eye as opposed to feeling a hair touching your palm. You feel much more. In other words, they are more in tune with how other people feel. That kind of discomfort is necessary in order to work for others. Positively speaking, it’s like the ache a mother or father would feel if their child cries. But there is another form of discomfort that arises from losing your grip on how to maintain your ego, which is not necessary. That kind of discomfort is an extra burden. So suffering could be very helpful or it could be somewhat of a nuisance.

21. 8 Compelling Reasons to Live with Less from Be More With Less.

22. Why You Should Start Blogging (Even If You’re Not a Writer) on Medium.

23. Unbearable Compassion from Ram Dass, in which he says, “if you armor your heart you starve to death” and,

Here’s where the faith comes and the faith is deepened through your own practices, through your own direct experiences. It’s not belief that someone hands you. It is faith that comes from your own direct experiences. So you learn to keep your heart open in hell. Finally.

24. Which reminded me of this, Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones, and what he had to say about “the forever empty.”

25. Marriage by Jeff Oaks.

26. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

To do this work, you have to know center. You have to know it well enough to let circumference shift without collapsing the shape of you. You have to know center well enough that you can hold space for those you love when they lose their step, when they lose center, when they falter. To do this work, you have to be willing to hold center like a focal point so those who crash on your shores can do so without fear that you will make it about you. Even when it affects you to your core. Even when it hurts you to see them hurting or struggling or making dumb decisions or acting base or mean. Because to do this work, you have to be spacious enough to actually hold space for others. To do this work, you have to be committed to being a light in the darkness, an anchor in the many baffling storms we endure. If you drown every time someone you love is drowning, this is not the work for you. If you lose your center so easily when someone you love is lost, this is not the work for you. If your reaction to hard times or discomfort is judgment and aversion, this is not the work for you. If someone else’s trauma inevitably becomes your own, then this is not the work for you.

27. Big challenges and small wins from This (Sorta) Old Life. Because, this:

In the midst of a big hard time, it’s good to have some small wins. It’s good to be reminded that little fixes can make a big difference in how we feel. It’s good to feel competent. It’s good to remember that no time is all good or all bad, and that the important thing is to keep moving forward, doing what we can. Sometimes that’s the only way we can do home, and life.

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.