Category Archives: Jen Lee

Something Good

atriumfall

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

1. Good stuff from Seth Godin, The two-review technique and Are you interesting? Both of these are helping me to reframe the way I think about and approach my work.

2. Screw Finding Your Passion from Mark Manson. This post is really great, and yet I can’t offer it to you without also giving you another perspective, equally great (or maybe even slightly better), from Laura Simms: Why You Don’t Need to Find Your Passion to Do What You Love and Instead of Finding Your Passion, Find *THIS*

3. Mom, I’m Not A Girl: Raising a Transgender Child. I’m so glad there are parents willing to move beyond their own fear and confusion to parent with love.

4. Just F*cking Journal Class, an awesome four week course. The next session starts TODAY.

5. Big Magic: Resources Week 1 on Allowing Myself. Are you reading with us?

6. The Power of Maybe…A Story About Accepting What Is from Meg Casey, a powerful post about how we might shift our perspective. “If we are able to drop the story of ‘good or bad’ and just greet our life exactly as it is without judgement we create the maximum conditions for healing in our life. We also by the way, free up resources to help us through whatever life is throwing at us.”

7. Humorous Street Signs and Other Contextual Street Art Interventions by Michael Pederson, an artist in Sydney, Australia, who clearly has a partner in crime in Jeff Wysaski, a comedy writer in Los Angeles, because There’s a Man Scattering Very Funny Fake Books, Signs and Pamphlets Around L.A. It makes me stupid happy that there are people who are willing to make this sort of effort just to make other people smile.

8. 50+ Of The Cutest Baby Animals Of All Time on Bored Panda. As I put this post together, there are 149 submissions so far to this list. I’ve tried to figure out which is my favorite, but how is a person supposed to choose?! And if you were able to survive that, check this out, 15+ Animals Enjoying Autumn Magic (as I post this, the list is at 49). Baby lion playing in a pile of leaves?!

9. The Essence of Hayao Miyazaki Films: A Short Documentary About the Humanity at the Heart of His Animation. “His aim was to make films that would help us all further understand the human condition.” If you haven’t seen any of his films, I highly recommend them…all of them.

10. What I Wished I’d Known Before Setting Out to Become a Writer a guest post from Nicole Baute on Sarah Selecky’s blog.

11. My Lonely Robots Experiencing The Quiet Wonder Of The World, a collection from artist Matt Dixon on Bored Panda. These little guys are so sweet.

12. Did you hear that Oprah bought 10% of Weight Watchers? Here’s some good stuff that got written about it that says what I feel better than I could articulate it: Dear Oprah from Julie Dillon, and Oprah and Weight Watchers, a Match Made In… on Dances with Fat, and Dear Virgie: Oprah Buying 10% of Weight Watchers–WTF? I especially love what Virgie says, “you cannot be actively investing in the diet industry and actively investing in the improvement of women’s lives.” Word.

13. A Soulful Exploration of Inner Wisdom with Susan Piver, an episode of The Unmistakable Creative podcast. I could listen to Susan tell her story all day. What she says right at the beginning is friggin’ brilliant.

14. 17 Beautiful Rooms For The Book-Loving Soul. And yes, I want to go to there, BuzzFeed.

15. Wisdom from Virginia Woolf, “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

16. Why I Focus on Simplicity (and How You Can Simplify Your Life in 2016) from Blonde on a Budget.

17. Qwerkywriter. I don’t know how comfortable this would be to type on, but I love the way it looks.

18. This Is How The Pro-Gun Crowd Sounds To … Well, Normal People. *gigglesnort*

19. Beyond Happy by Omid Safi on On Being, in which he suggests, “What if we strive for something beyond happiness? What if we aim for a life that is about being whole?” I love the poem at the end of this so much.

Here is to a life, everyday and spiritual,
Both individual and communal,
Meditative and ritual,
Embracing all the emotions that make us human,
Leading us to happiness,
And beyond happiness

To being
and becoming
whole.

20. 10 Fast Ways to Become a Better Writer from Sarah Kathleen Peck.

21. Good stuff from Zen Habits, The Underrated, Essential Art of Coping and Why You Should Write Daily.

22. Finding Your Creative Flow: 17 Writer’s Tricks to Get Un-stuck and Start Creating.

23. Beautiful Peace Mantra sung by Tina Turner.

24. Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul.

25. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Love is your calling.”

26. Purification. Pain. Passion. And marrying your soul. Or…How to tap your deep creativity. from Danielle LaPorte.

27. 8 Amazing Things Will Happen To Your Brain When You Keep Writing Every Day.

28. 5 Mantras for When You Hate Your Job from Laura Simms.

29. “How I dearly wish I was not here,” a beautiful, heartbreaking story of what it’s like to lose your dog, to let them go. I read it a few days ago and I still can’t even read the title without crying. I don’t want to do this again, e v e r, and yet I keep getting more dogs knowing that this is exactly what will happen with every one of them — it’s a particular flavor of crazy.

30. Just Between You & Me, an unedited and unreviewed weekly conversation between Jen Lee and author/illustrator Tim Manley.

31. Why I opt out of the holidays: A Simple & Meaningful Christmas from Paul Jarvis. This is really, really tempting…

32. It’s Not You, it’s the Clothes from Sally McGraw. It’s so important to remember this.

33. 3 Ways to Say Goodbye to Busyness on Be More With Less.

34. Meditation teacher, medical expert Jamie Zimmerman dies in drowning accident. Yet another reminder to not wait, to not give up, to love what/who you love now.

35. Good stuff from Chookooloonks this was a good week list: “National Geographic is currently accepting entries for its 2015 photo contest, and you can scroll through the best ones so far here“, and “my friend Justin had an adventure in Peru, and since he’s a gifted photographer, he shows us how gorgeous it was.”

36. Bill Murray Talks The ‘Kasbah’ — And The Merits Of A Life Lived Phoneless.

37. After 59 years, Mattel gets it right: the new Barbie ad is awesome.

38. Behind the Scenes With Dani Shapiro, “Memoirist and best-selling author Dani Shapiro shares what she’s learned about herself from her daily practice of writing and completing her books.”

39. Starting a podcast for people who don’t want their lives taken over by podcasting from Paul Jarvis. SUCH good advice.

40. Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Paul Jarvis. Tiffany has interviewed so many great people. You should check out her archive.

41. 7 things I did to reboot my life from Wil Wheaton. “I deserve to be happy. I deserve to feel good about myself. I can do the work that I need to do to accomplish these things.”

Something Good


Kind and gentle reader, this will be my last Something Good post until Monday, July 21st, and that first one back might be a little light. We are going on vacation, and while I love curating these lists for you, they are a lot of work, and I’d like to make this trip without my computer, so I’m going to take a bit of a sabbatical. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll be posting at all while I’m away, but Eric will have his computer with him, and I love it here so much that I can’t promise I’ll be able to stay away entirely. I’ll miss it, but I also haven’t taken a real break since I started (my very first post was Beginning, posted on September 16, 2011), and for long stretches, I’ve posted something every day — it might be time to rest a little.

1. 100 Day Promise, a new offering from Sandi Amorim. Would you like to make an important promise to yourself and have the support and guidance to follow it through? Sandi is launching a new project that offers just that. I’ve taken part in her communities before, and I am telling you the truth: there is no better guide than Sandi. Her programs have helped me make significant transformations, and, a disclaimer: I adore her. Here’s a post she wrote about the process of the launch of her new project and new site, Lessons from the Birth Canal. P.S. if you sign up before June 13 you’ll also receive a bonus 1-1 session with Sandi!

2. Light Gets In: Living Well With Mental Illness from Esme Wang.

3. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing and, The 5/5 Creative Challenge from Christina Rosalie. Make sure to keep up with her 5/5 posts. They’ve been beautiful so far. She’s an amazing writer.

4. Just the right words. Just the right time. Three stories to inspire you to SAY them. from Alexandra Franzen.

5. The Mindful Leader: The Wisdom of Mindfulness in the 21st Century Workplace with Michael Carroll, a live event at the Fort Collins Shambhala Center, July 12th. I am so sad I’m going to miss it (we’ll still be in Oregon) because I adore Michael Carroll and think he’s doing some of the most important work of our time.

6. Indie Kindred is available for rent online. Like I told Jen Lee, the filmmaker, I was more excited about this than the new season of Orange is the New Black. So good.

7. Leaf art by Lorenzo Manuel Durán. So delicate, so beautiful, so amazing.

8. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, about having the courage to wait,

When you’re like a keg of dynamite just about to go off, patience means just slowing down at that point—just pausing—instead of immediately acting on your usual, habitual response. You refrain from acting, you stop talking to yourself, and then you connect with the soft spot. But at the same time you are completely and totally honest with yourself about what you are feeling. You’re not suppressing anything; patience has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, it has everything to do with a gentle, honest relationship with yourself. If you wait and don’t fuel the rage with your thoughts, you can be very honest about the fact that you long for revenge; nevertheless you keep interrupting the torturous story line and stay with the underlying vulnerability. That frustration, that uneasiness and vulnerability, is nothing solid. And yet it is painful to experience. Still, just wait and be patient with your anguish and with the discomfort of it. This means relaxing with that restless, hot energy—knowing that it’s the only way to find peace for ourselves or the world.

And this, (thanks for sharing, Erin).

The real thing that we renounce is the tenacious hope that we could be saved from being who we are.

9. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel, in the form of her latest newsletter. If you aren’t signed up yet, you really should.

10. The one simple question that keeps me focused on achieving my dreams from Life is Limitless.

11. A Little Guide to Lighten Your Life and Make Love: mini-mission on Be More With Less.

12. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

There is something wonderful and strange and difficult and painful and amazing about becoming more of who we are. When we stop squeezing our actual soul shape into the shapes of everything else around us just to fit it…and we let ourselves look and feel and BE who we actually are….we feel relieved, but sometimes we also feel profoundly lonely for a while. This is normal, dear girl…and so worth sticking through…

It becomes quite a habit to work so hard at fitting into places where we thought we were supposed to be like everyone else. We work so hard at for so long and sometimes it has been sooooo long that we forgot what we were like before we started doing it. Our soul knows, though.

There comes a day when our soul has just had enough of the squeezing and coloring and carving and polishing we keep trying to do to change it (or hide it!)….and our soul just wants to be authentic and raw and whole and FREE. Our soul wants us to hold hands with it and BE WHO WE ARE. Our soul just wants to be the light that it is…without having to wear a mask or a cape or a shiny veneer of anything at all. It just wants to shine.

Sometimes we feel a bit like a freak when we stop trying to fit in…..don’t let that stop you, dear soul. The more layers we peel off….the brighter we can shine…that stuff is just covering up our light….and the world needs more light. The world needs YOU. YOU need YOU.

You are amazing and unique and wonderful….keep peeling off anything that is covering up all of the you-ness of you. It will be worth it…

13. Someone Put A Camera On A Bird’s Nest… And I’m So Glad Because Watch What It Caught! on Viral Nova.

14. Melissa McCarthy can dress herself on Salon.

“Trying to find stuff that’s still fashion-forward in my size is damn near impossible,” she told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011. “It’s either for like a 98-year-old woman or a 14-year-old hooker, and there is nothing in the middle.”

Amen.

15. Amazing Resonance Experiment! This totally freaks me out, in the best kind of way. Thanks for sharing it, Susan Piver.

16. The Frustratingly Slow Pace of Making Changes from Zen Habits.

17. The American Dream Is Alive—and It’s Really, Really Tiny. I love what Tammy (the author of Rowdy Kittens and You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap)) has to say about making conscious choices.

18. Sometimes you need a creativity reboot from Susannah Conway.

19. 23 Photos Of People From All Over The World Next To How Much Food They Eat Per Day, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list.

20. Jen Lee on Being Seen and Finding Kindreds.

21. Practice is an invitation to the future from Sandi Amorim. She gets it.

Have a wonderful start of the summer, kind and gentle reader!

Something Good

lifeispractice1. Posture Matters: Cute Animated Video Reminds Us to Get Off Our Butts During the Day from Yoga Dork.

2. A really good question from Justine Musk,

Pretend that a messenger from some great cosmic all-knowing sort of entity — I like to think of it as a giant punk unicorn, myself — has come to you and informed you that you have within you two gifts. The first is the message that you absolutely must get out into the world. The second is the way/talent/means for you to do it. What are those gifts?

3. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Foods That A Nutritionist Always Has In Her Freezer and Forget Dairy! Your New Best Friend Is Cashew Cream.

4. Beyond Flour: A New Kind of Gluten-Free Cookbook, another good Kickstarter Project.

5. Confessions of a Serial Memoirist from the Opinion Pages of The New York Times, in which the author says,

I was born to be a serial memoirist: compulsive, self-absorbed, narcissistic, bossy and a know-it-all.

My books so far have been old-fashioned memoirs, the hero’s journey: Falling into disgrace or despair, struggling through the fires of hell to rise, graced with a new life or at least more peace. This classic dramatic arc is not superficially imposed, but the way I think; identifying and tracing the arcs in my own life helps me find meaning and purpose.

I keep trying to improve my identity by evolving into a kinder, more loving, wise, spiritual and compassionate woman, daughter, mother, friend. This is taking a lifetime. Not a bad thing for a serial memoirist.

Word.

ladybug6. Our crystal palace from Seth Godin.

7. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Meditation begins to open up your life, so that you’re not caught in self-concern, just wanting life to go your way. In that case you no longer realize that you’re standing at the center of the world, that you’re in the middle of a sacred circle, because you’re so concerned with your worries, pains, limitations, desires, and fears that you are blind to the beauty of existence. All you feel by being caught up like this is misery, as well as enormous resentment about life in general. How strange! Life is such a miracle, and a lot of the time we feel only resentment about how it’s all working out for us.

8. Do It Because It’s What You’re Here To Do from Jonathan Fields.

9. Good stuff from Scoutie Girl: Permission to Rest and Throwing In the Towel.

10. the one thing you must do from Sas Petherick.

11. 26 Reasons Kids Are Pretty Much Just Tiny Drunk Adults on BuzzFeed.

bookshelves12. 21 People Having a Really Bad Day from Pleated Jeans.

13. A Simple Relaxation Technique to Connect Your Heart & Mind from Deva Coaching.

14. 10 Characters You May Encounter in Yoga Class on Elephant Journal, (I am a combination of 5 and 10). Also from Elephant Journal, Dear Drunk Girl.

15. I’m Finally Thin — But Is Living In A Crazymaking Food Prison Really Worth It?

16. Dani Shapiro’s Provident Move to the Country on The New York Times. I want to go to there.

17. Mortified Nation, a “documentary about adults who share their most embarrassing, private childhood writings… in front of total strangers,” which makes me wish I hadn’t destroyed all the awful poetry I wrote in my tween years.

18. 4 Secrets That Can Lead to Self-Acceptance by Anne Lamott on Oprah.com. She was on Super Soul Sunday yesterday, and I was so glad Oprah let her talk.

19. Keep It Simple, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche on Huffington Post.

20. Mindful Friday: Tech Abstinence and Self-Compassion: Hurting The Ones We Love from Jennifer Matesa on Recovering the Body.

21. Good stuff from Tiny Budda: Why Accepting Your Imperfections Is a Gift to the World and 15 Reasons to Start Following Your Dream Today.

22. Star Wars MBTI Chart from Geek in Heels. It’s no surprise to me that my Myers-Briggs personality type is Obi-Wan Kenobi.

23. When We Most Need It from Jen Lee.

24. SERIOUSLY! A Movie about PLAY.

25. Good stuff from Brain Pickings: Art as Therapy: Alain de Botton on the 7 Psychological Functions of Art, and Dani Shapiro on the Pleasures and Perils of Writing & the Creative Life, and Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living.

26. You Want to Change the World? Start With You on Huffington Post.

27. Those People on Scary Mommy.

28. your daily rock : lower the bar

Something Good

1. In honor of Memorial Day: Memorial Day: an open letter to our troops on the topic of bravery from Lisa Adams, and Shambhala Mountain Center is offering a special, extended weekend retreat for veterans and their families from August 1-4. “Outer War, Inner Peace will create a safe and intimate setting for discussions and a variety of mindfulness practices, including gentle and powerful healing work with horses. Scholarships are available.” Please share with anyone you think might benefit from this program.

2. New Hyperrealistic Sculptures by Ron Mueck on Bored Panda. So freaky.

3. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Clean & Save Green from Kris Carr.

4. Why it’s so hard to be good (and how to begin) from Sayta on Writing Our Way Home. This one really has me thinking.

5. 26 Steps to Living a Life You Love from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

6. Oklahoma Tornado Survivor Finds Missing Dog During Live Interview.
Instead of reading about all the scary, sad, terrible things, I watched this video.

7. The Obstacle is the Path on Zen Habits. I know this, but sometimes I forget. It’s good to be reminded.

8. Simplify Your Life and Quiet Your Mind on The Spin Cycle and Your Definitive Summer Slow Down Guide on Be More With Less. Courtney Carver’s posts end up on this list almost every week. Maybe I should just put a permanent list item that says “Read Be More with Less.” She’s also doing a Charity:Water campaign for her birthday, because she’s awesome.

9. “Fortunately, it is not required for happiness.” 7 words to re-focus your mind on what matters. from Alexandra Franzen. Same here — maybe you should just take it for granted that I will be telling you every week to read something Alexandra has written, consider it a standing order?

10. Indie Kindred Trailer, a documentary by Jen Lee. Can’t wait to see it.

11. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh: your daily rock : be selfish sometimes and your daily rock : trust yourself.

12. Luke’s Barely Habitable, a video tour of a 78-square-foot live/work apartment in Manhattan. He pays the same amount for rent as my mortgage on an 1100 square foot house. Every video like this inspires me to downsize, start getting rid of stuff, get clear about what I really need.

13. 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, a set of gorgeous pictures.

14. This wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

Whether one believes in a religion
or not, and whether one believes
in rebirth or not, there isn’t
anyone who doesn’t appreciate
kindness and compassion.

We are all the same — we just want to be happy and safe.

15. Super Summer Challange on Back to Her Roots. This would be super fun and of benefit, if I weren’t already doing one million other things, (yes, I said one million).

16. From Couch Potato to One of the World’s Fittest Menon Forks Over Knives — also very inspiring but probably not something I’m going to do this summer.

17. lisa congdon : THink — a glimpse into the studio + creative world of the artist from Woodnote Photography. I love Lisa Congdon, her art and her story, and love to hear the stories behind people’s tattoos, so this interview is a win/win.

18. My diet secret…The ONLY diet you will ever need! from Kute Blackson. If you have body or food issues, if you struggle, you have got to read this post, watch the video. What Kute has to say here is spot on, and he delivers his message with a huge smile and a ton of energy. Watch it. I’m not kidding. You can thank me later.

19. Creative Living with Jamie: Eric Maisel, Jamie’s weekly podcast interview with a creative person. I mention it this week for a special reason — that Jill she refers to at the very end is ME! But seriously, if you are a creative type, do yourself a favor and take a look at her podcast archive.

20. Convos with my 2-Year-Old, Episode OneI have it on good authority that this video is pretty accurate, not just of this guy’s 2 year old, but of kids in general.

21. roots, on Doorways Traveler, where Lisa Field-Elliot shares this poem,

Allow, by Dana Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

22. This wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut,

Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

Which is good news, because apparently, according to this comic, I am an artist.

you-might-be-an-artist-if-640

23. Fear & Loathing on Facebookfrom Real Mom Nutrition.

24. How buying a pair of mom pants led to an epiphany from Wellness by Design. All I have to say in response to this is amen, and thank you.

25. Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe unlocked and on display after nearly 60 years.

26. When she comes home from a long day at school, having a bad day, been told off or sad… She cuddles her best friend. This was on Reddit, and I’m totally in love with it. It makes me wish my dogs were a tiny bit bigger.

girlandbestfriend

27. From Your Inner Pilot Light,

When you notice a sensation or symptom in your body, that’s me talking to you, my love. You know that, right? Sometimes you can be a wee bit stubborn. Sometimes you don’t listen when I whisper. Sometimes I have to get scrappy and start bellowing at you in ways I know will catch your attention. Don’t make me yell, my love.

28. Here’s How Austin Kleon Writes on Copy Blogger. At one point, Austin shares this John Cleese quote, “Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating.”

29. Busy Philipps on The Conversation talking about body image.

30. Cabin Porn, shared by SF Girl by Bay. I could get really lost in this site.

31. Freebie | Ephemera from Goodnight Little Spoon, shared by Pugly Pixel.

32. 22 Ways To Get Your Vegan Snack Attack On from oh she glows, shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list.

33. Avocado Frozen Yogurt recipe, shared by Kind Over Matter.

34. 70 Cutie Baby Animals Bring You a Good Mood, shared by Positively Present.

35. How to Dance Properly, shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend post. Oh my, this brings back memories and brought up lots of laughs.

36. Shared by Tammy on her Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Three Essential Elements of Personal Power on Always Well Within (I found this super interesting because what she’s describing is what I would call basic goodness), Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers on Brain Pickings, and My writing practise on Beautiful Again.

37. 21 Love Lessons They Didn’t Teach You in School from Rebelle Society.

38. 10 Best Cases of On Air Giggles from Hello Giggles.

Something Good

1. You don’t have to pander from Seth Godin’s blog, in which he says, “The reason you don’t have to pander is that you’re not in a hurry and you don’t need everyone to embrace you and your work. When you focus on the weird, passionate, interesting segment of the audience, you can do extraordinary work for a few (and watch it spread) instead of starting from a place of average.”

2. Website designs I like, non-perishable goods and Positively Present‘s new look–both simple and clean, minimalist.

3. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh: your daily rock : love your layers, your daily rock : ignore all critics, and your daily rock : forget about the audience

4. From David Whyte’s poem Out on the Ocean,

Always, this energy smoulders inside,
when it remains unlit,
the body fills with dense smoke.

5. New video from Danielle of one of my favorite songs, The Have Nots.

6. one hundred journeys from Sas Petherick, “The disturbing ugliness and the profound love, the sheer bloody hilarity of being human.”

7. From Geneen Roth, “Peace and contentment are feelings that take practice to achieve. They are not a consequence of being successful or being in love or being thin. They are, among other things, a consequence of stopping in the present moment and looking around.”

8. Why being rash, hasty & stupid is the smartest thing you can do from Alexandra Franzen.

9. The Bigness of God from Julia Fehrenbacher.

10. My Best Mistake: Too Much Success by Gary Vaynerchuk.

11. How to write books and articles more quickly by Cynthia Morris. I will most likely never be this organized, and yet I still aspire to be.

12. Two things that made say “OMG!”: Royal Winnipeg Ballet to debut Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale” next season, and coming out this fall, Mary Oliver’s collection of dog poems, Dog Songs.

dogpoemscover

13. From Danielle LaPorte, these Daily Truth Bombs, “What do you really want to happen, really?” and “No dream will serve you if you’re forcing yourself to make it happen,” and New Age Judge Judy and Lessons in Yoga Class.

14. From Elephant Journal,  8 Blunt Truths About Becoming a Yoga Instructor,
Complete Protein? Complete Nonsense, The 10 Things You’ll Do Once You Start Yoga That Have Nothing To Do With Yoga, and The Positive Attitude Paradox.

15. A Miniature Bohemian World, which further reveals my love for book filled, messy spaces.

16. Pictures of people who mock me on Salon.

17. Off Camera interview with Aimee Mann.

18. Loveland’s Anthology Book Co. gets new lease on life. Such good news!

19. Masterpiece In A Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up.

20. From Bored Panda: 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist, (holy wow…), and Dad Illustrates Kids’ Sandwich Bags with Fun Drawings Every Day.

21. I have a crush on Jeff Oak’s writingI found his blog through another of my writing crushes, Guinevere Gets Sober. The fact that they both understand grief and addiction, and have beautiful black dogs doesn’t hurt one bit.

22. The Spiritual Journey, inner journeys and stories of personal growth.

23. Why you should write daily on Zen Habits.

24. On All the Sentimental Stuff and Clutter from Be More with Less, (speaking of writers I have crushes on who have amazing dogs).

25. This quote from Mark Victor Hansen, “Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.”

26. Manifesto on Basic Goodness on Huffington Post–a plan I can get behind.

26. A Beginner’s Guide to Neil Gaiman

27. The Conversation is back! Well, sort of. There are two new, short interviews–better than nothing!

28. In celebration of being ordinary, from Jennifer Louden.

29. Finding a New Rhythm from Jen Lee in which she says,

It’s funny because the old-school approach to getting work done–the entrepreneurial, management-style approach–says that if we start clearing our spaces or wanting to read in bed, we’re just avoiding our work. That we should “push through” and keep in motion.

But that approach has never worked for me in the realm of creative work. Clearing space and resting are as essential to my productivity as the sun and water parts are for growing plants.

30. plumb the depths 26 questions for pure insight from Kylie on effervescence, the art of liking yourself. Also on effervescence, why it’s not selfish to make art…that’s just for yourself.

31. 30 DIY Ideas How To Make Your Backyard Wonderful This Summer. I probably won’t do any of them, but they are awesome, (especially the backyard beach and the tents).

32. Shared by Positively Present, 33 Dogs That Cannot Even Handle It Right Now and Alison Brie mimes your favorite memes.

33. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend post, 30 Abandoned Places that Look Truly Beautiful and Sneak Peak: Paula Mills and Family, a beautifully designed living space.

34. I am in love with this treehouse.

35. This can still happen anywhere.

36. Shared by Stephanie in her Weekend Treats post, Self-Care Is Not A Punishment and 29 Ways to Stay Creative: Start with Darkness.

37. The calming manatee.

38. 39 Reasons Why You Must Read In Order to Write Well, shared by The Mojo Lab.

39. Writing advice from writers handwritten on writers’ hands [14 pictures]

40. Expiration Date by Lisa Bonchek Adams. Lisa’s story, her telling of it keeps breaking my heart, and sometimes I think it would be better to look away, to stop following her, to stop watching and reading, checking in and waiting, that it would somehow be a healthier choice, a saner option to disengage. But then I realize “Lisa is dying.” Someone’s mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend is dying. She may not be literally mine, and yet she IS mine, and for that reason, I won’t look away, won’t unsubscribe or ignore or wish it away. I will be a loving and kind witness to her reality, which in the end is the same for all of us.

41. The most difficult practice of allfrom Susan Piver–“stop feeling bad about yourself.”

Something Good

1. the pursuit of happiness: how part-time dream-chasing works from Liv Lane. This makes so much sense to me, seems to be how things are working in my case.

2. From a poem shared by the lovely Jessica Patterson,

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
~Judy Brown

3. A quote shared by Christa on Carry It Forward,

The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it. It’s not possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering the unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift – your true self – is the most you can do to love and serve the world…and it is all the world needs. ~Bill Plotkin

4. After School Snack: Almond-Oat Bites. This recipe looks so yummy. I wonder what it would taste like with avocado? 🙂

5. Pets Add Life Outtakes. If this doesn’t make you giggle, we probably wouldn’t get along.

6. This quote from Lin Yutang, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

7. This quote from Pema Chödrön,

Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.

Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.

8. This quote from Ram Daas,

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.

9. [How I Relax] An interview with Marianne Elliott on The Freedom Experiment.

10. Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree: Self-Compassion and Resilience from Lea Seigen Shinraku.

11. International Artist Mary Anne Radmacher Talks Living Boldly on 365 Bold.

12. “A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to.” ~Tom Bissell

13. 9 Steps to Creating a Successful e-Course from Pro Blogger.

14. I Never Thought A 1-Minute Video Could Punch Me In The Heart. Yet Here We Are. Seeing Anne Frank with gray hair made me cry.

15. Washed Away, a New York Times book review of ‘Wave’ by Sonali Deraniyagala, by Cheryl Strayed. After reading this, I immediately ordered the book, knowing it’s going to break my heart.

16. Creating Your Zen Den on Positively Positive.

17. Wisdom from Osho,

When you have dropped all the tension about the future – that I should become this and I should become that – the ego evaporates. The ego lives on a base of the past and the future. Understand this a little. The claims of the ego are of the past, “I did this, I did that” – it is all in the past. And the ego says, “I will definitely accomplish this, I will definitely show you that I can accomplish that.” That is all in the future. The ego simply does not exist in the present. If you come to the present, then the ego disappears. That is death to the ego. Coming to the present is the death of the ego.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön: Comfortable with Transition, a Good Minute Weekly Wisdom offering from Sounds True.

19. Generosity for Georgia, a really great fundraising effort for a single mom fighting cancer. If I had my way, no kid ever again would lose their mom to cancer. For now, the only thing I can do about that is to give some money and love to people like Georgia, and share the link with you so you can too.

20. Wisdom from Patti Digh,

A thought: If we can walk to our edges without judgment–edges are those “hot spots” of discomfort and disequilibrium where real learning can occur–we can learn something valuable about ourselves. But we have to choose between judging and learning, because if we go into judgment (of ourselves or others), we can’t learn. Carry on.

21. A great story from Jen Lee on The Moth.

22. Trading in Consumption on Be More With Less. Courtney Carver continues to be such an inspiration to me.

23. This quote from Tony Schwartz,

Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

24. Five Ways To Nourish Yourself from Nourishing the Soul.

25. Objects of Desire from Lisa Field-Elliot on Doorways Traveler. I love, love, love her writing, her view, her heart. Every post she says something so true, something that startles and stops me, makes me cry. This time it was this, “it is not about accumulating, it is about recognizing and eliminating what does not speak the truth.”

26. i could live here: a converted waffle factory in lille. from SF Girl by Bay. Everything about this place is yummy, gorgeous and good, and I can’t help but wonder, how different would your life be if you lived in a space like that? I mean, it’s a converted waffle factory in France that is decorated and furnished beautifully– everything about that is good. In my dream of it, it still smells like waffles, warm maple and vanilla.

27. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

If we unbalance nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy as, if not healthier than, we found it. This is not quite such a difficult proposition as it might sound. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a universal response might achieve. It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that may be. Just because switching off the light on leaving the room seems inconsequential, it does not mean we shouldn’t do it.

28. From Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Speaking Up About Grief and Why We Rescue Interview, (this project only has one entry so far, but it’s such a good idea, and a really good first interview–I’m a sucker for a good rescue story).

29. This quote from Geneen Roth, “Compulsive eating is only the symptom; believing that you are not worth your own love is the problem. Go for the love. You will never be sorry.”

30. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list, Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing.

31. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Facebook for Buddhists? Five Rules for Maintaining a Mindful “Buddha Status,” and This is Why I Practice, which says,

I don’t practice because I am righteous or virtuous. I certainly don’t practice because I am perfect or peaceful. Nor do I practice to impress you or to prove some inane point about my wonderful brilliant sparkly shininess.

I practice because without practice I am a mess.

Amen.

32. Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You from Space2Live.

33. Pack Animals, from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

We need each other. The trick for me is to accept that need, to allow myself to satisfy it, and even to enjoy it, without allowing it to overtake the rest of my life and make me sacrifice myself.

34. Kid President Laugh Party! I adore Kid President.

35. Do not do shit just to please your parents. In fact, do not pursue anything in order to please someone else. Ever. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte.

36. The Real Journey of a Writer, wisdom from Justine Musk.

Something Good

A reminder about why I write this list: When I am feeling bad, I will often ask Eric to “tell me something good.” When I need something to hang on to, to make me feel better, something to show me that it’s not all bad. When I am in that dark hole, way down at the bottom, and the mean things with teeth are down there with me–”tell me something good.”

He’s really good at it, because even when all he can think of is “I love you,” it totally works. I mean, how great is it that the person that you picked and who said “yes” nineteen years ago, and knows you better than anyone, knows all the embarrassing and ugly stuff, continues to love you? He usually is able to give me a whole list when I ask him, followed by a hug and “what can I do for you, how can I make you feel better?”

So on A Thousand Shades of Gray, Monday’s feature is: Something Good. I like the idea of gratitude generating joy, and the opportunity my gratitude has to spread joy when I share the good things, and there are so many good things, and every Monday, I give you a list.

1. Binge Monsters and Chocolate Teapots from Sas Petherick.

2. Complaints and Requests: Two Halves of a Whole on Scoutie Girl, in which Tivi Jones says “Every complaint you have is a request you haven’t made.”

3. The Daily Loving Practice from Jen Louden.

4. “Writer Robert Olen Butler explains that the plot of any story is a yearning meeting a series of obstacles,” (from Your Daily Rock on 37 Days). This makes total sense to me.

5. “Rest does not need to hold hands with guilt. We do not have to pay for rest when the rest is over,” from a little bird told me, Brave Girls Club Daily Truth.

6. Quotes from Karen Salmansohn. “Be so full of love and light that none of what is going on outside of you can hurt you,” and “Let go of what you can’t control. Channel all that energy into living fully in the now.”

7. Bullies Called Him Pork Chop. He Took That Pain With Him And Then Cooked It Into This.

8. “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only robs today of its joy.” ~Leo Buscaglia

9. Journal Your Life: Writing Your Dreams Into Reality, a new ecourse from Susannah Conway. Registration opens tomorrow, and I am predicting it’s going to be an amazing class, (a pretty safe bet, since everything she does is all kinds of awesome). She writes a bit about her own journaling practice in this post.

10. Lost Generation, a poem with a twist.

11. Succulents Galore Etsy store, (link shared on Pugly Pixel, Links Loved). Also on Pugley Pilxel’s list this week, The Ink Nest Etsy store and a recipe for Baked Espresso Glazed Doughnuts and a CSS Patterns Gallery.

12. The Self-Acceptance Project from Sounds Truea FREE 12-week Video Event Series, beginning Monday, March 4, 2013. I probably already mentioned this, but it’s worth saying again, as this includes all the “big names.”

13. Swords into plowshares and hate mail into origami from Rachel Held Evans. Such a great idea.

14. From SF Girl by Bay’s Thoughts for a Friday listproof that people are weird and magic, Japanese floral artist Takaya-Hanayuishi, and beautiful photos by Lisa Warninger and Chelsea Fuss.

15. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: Learn How to Meditate and Finding Vivian Maier, the Official Movie Trailer.

16. Vulnerability is The Path, from the brilliant and compassionate Susan Piver (another great resource for learning to meditate is her Open Heart Project).

17. How to REALLY Find Your True Life’s Purpose… Once and For All! from Kute Blackson, in which he says,

All that’s needed is that you put one step in front of the next as you go boldly in the the direction of your heart. As you trust, then the universe will rise to your support. Your true life’s purpose is then not something you wait to find, but something that you live into. It is the invitation that life gives you to live each moment of each day as love.

18. may you feel connected + seen + adored by Jessica Swift, in which she talks about an amazing retreat she attended (that I envied from afar as I viewed the photos being posted to Instagram and Facebook that weekend by various amazing women), in which she links to a post Kelly Rae Robert’s wrote about how to set up such a retreat. I am predicting that my Courage Camp this summer (you know who you are, ladies) will be such an event.

19. This quote from Julia Cameron, “Creativity is a spiritual practice. It is always ongoing and changing, not something that can be perfected, finished, and set aside.” Amen.

20. What my life looked like before Self Love, a brave and vulnerable post from Dominee at Blessing Manifesting.

21. This quote from Mark Whitwell, (by way of the amazing Jessica Patterson),

To be yourself is very easy; you don’t have to do a thing. No effort is necessary, and you don’t have to exercise your will. But try to be something other than what you are, and you have to do many unnecessary things and struggle a lot. To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You are blessed with that intelligence; nobody need give it to you, and nobody can take it away from you.

22. 30+ of the most beautiful abandoned places and modern ruins i’ve ever seen, from Francesco Mugnai.

23. Sir Nicholas Winton, BBC Programme “That’s Life,” aired in 1988. This video is so sweet, and heartbreaking, and inspiring. Would that we could all do something so good and important with our lives.

24. This quote: “The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.” ~Henri Nouwen

25. Kid President. I shared his A Pep Talk from Kid President to You video already, but here it is again if you missed it.

Here’s a new video, The True Story of Kid President.

And another, which he made for Valentine’s day with two of my favorite singers, sisters Lennon & Maisy, (who are apparently now on TV, on a show called Nashville).

This was Lennon and Maisy’s first video, one of the sweetest, most beautiful things ever.

26. You can slow down. I mean REALLY slow. from Jen Lee.

27. This quote, from Geneen Roth,

I heard this from Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain (I love that book): each morning, do what he calls a “flight check”: remember that 1. You Are Safe. You are not getting bombed, invaded, destroyed. You really are safe, in this moment, now. Number 2. You have Enough. Enough food, enough clothes, enough warmth. And the last one: 3. You are Loved. By a cat or a dog. By your child. By your friend. By your spouse. You are loved and you have love in your life. We usually are reacting unconsciously to old patterns, many of which were about safety, enoughness, and love. We act as if we don’t have them, when, if you check in to the present, we realize we do. And then, it gives us a ground upon which the rest of the day can proceed with a different kind of knowing and relaxation. Try it now. Say those things to yourself. Take them in.

28. What you think about… from Hannah Marcotti.

29. May I Be Happy: A Conversation with Cyndi Lee on Body Image on Curvy Yoga. I love what Cyndi says about how yoga is being “sold” now that it’s gone more mainstream (“as a fitness and de-stressing program”),

We know that barely touches what yoga is really about and has basically nothing to do with the traditional benefits of yoga. But they don’t know how to sell yoga in any other way. And let’s face it, the audience for getting enlightened, or being honest and genuine, or living a life that is based on being connected to everyone and everything or talking about death as a way to appreciate our precious life, this audience is always going to be smaller than the “Let’s Get Fit in 30 days” audience.

30. Because it feels strange to end on an odd number, and because it’s totally something good in my life, my friend Carrie had a baby boy yesterday! Welcome to the world, Vincent. You are a very lucky boy, have an awesome family. (P.S. And just to warn you, I will probably be calling you Vinnie. Don’t tell your mom.)