Category Archives: Jen Lemen

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. I already shared this yesterday, but it’s so good, I want to make sure you didn’t miss it, NPR First Listen: Tycho, “Awake,” a beautiful album.

2. Don’t Quit, from the Fearful Adventurer.

3. Sou Fujimoto’s Tree-Inspired Tower Sprouts Balconies Like Leaves.

4. finding yourself: a workbook from Positively Present.

5. 8 Lessons from Small Space Living from Be More With Less.

6. Interview with folk rock singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke.

7. Unloved.

8. Wisdom from poet Andrea Gibson, “Everyone’s chest is a living room wall with awkwardly placed photographs hiding fist-shaped holes.” And because I love it and it’s been awhile since I shared it, more beautiful from Andrea, “A letter to my dog: exploring the human condition.”

9. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

Generally, we go through life with little awareness of what we are doing, let alone the peaceful and joyful nature of our lives. We mostly think about the past and dream about the future while missing what is happening right now, in this moment. If we are not aware, we are not fully living. We are like sleepwalkers or zombies. To be alive and healthy, we need to wake up. In Sanskrit, the root of the word Buddha is ‘‘to be awake.’’ That is what true healing is, an awakening. As with a flower growing up from the ground and opening its petals in the sunlight, the process is generally quite gradual. Sometimes our spiritual growth seems slow and uneven. We can take a step backward or be filled with all sorts of doubts. We need to remind ourselves that the healing path is the right one to take.

10. desiderata on Chookooloonks, Karen Walrond’s blog, sharing the poem of the same name, which reminded me of this line, “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” She also has a great list of links on her latest “This was a good week” post. My favorites were these wedding photos (this whole site, all his pictures are magic, the way they capture love and relationship, humanness and connection), and this is 50, (which is only four years away for me!).

11. Wife And Mother: “You’d Never Suspect My Junkie Past” from NPR. The last lines are amazing…

I feel no shame when I say I’m a recovering addict. The battle has made me a warrior. As someone lucky to survive, I want to tell others not to give up. Life can be pain and suffering, but numbing that pain also numbs the love that heals it.

12. Note from the Universe, “Jill, fear just means you’ve forgotten how deeply you’re loved, how safe you are, and that happiness will return, like you’ve never known it before.” Yes, please.

13. 4 Reasons to Love the Body You Have on the Yoga Journal blog.

14. Jen Lemen still posts on Hopeful World, but I miss her old blog. I ran across this part of a poem from her, saved as a note on my Facebook page.

Love Will Find You Out
At the end of your unraveling,
you will look down and see your own feet
that have carried you so, so far
and you will decide for once that it is okay
to sit down
to rest
to hold out your hands
to lift up your head
to open your heart
to the possibility that you were never alone after all
not for one minute

That Love was right there
in her terrible silence
not quite sure how to say it so you would believe her
that you were a thing of rare beauty on the earth
That She still has your macaroni necklace
That She’s been following you around,
making maps of all the places you’ve been lost,
so you’d know how to get back when the time came
to put it all to rest.

See what I mean?

15. Read this, next time you want to give up on making a difference from Marianne Elliott. This is an older post, but it’s worth rereading — again and again.

16. Wisdom from Kris Carr on Facebook,

It’s possible to seek from a place of fullness rather than lack, excitement rather than fear. To know that even though you may be confused about a particular topic, you’re not incapable.

You’re not a project to be checked off and accomplished. Your deep capacity to heal and grow is always present. Always. You don’t need a book or a doctor or a shaman to guide you. You just need to know how to go home to yourself on a daily basis.

17. How Many Of These Do We Get? by Justine on Allowing Myself.

18. Intimate portraits spotlight shelter animals and the humans who love them, an article about one of my favorite projects, Why We Rescue.

19. 32 Truths Every Adult Should Know on Elephant Journal. This list made me giggle.

20. Wisdom from Shanti Zimmermann, “I have yet to meet a body that doesn’t love its person.”

21. Less show. More soul. from Jonathan Fields.

22. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte, “Art is about self expression. Sharing art is about being of service.”

23. Sometimes you don’t need a budget from Seth Godin.

24. From Brave Girls Club,

Your heart knows what step to take next. It may not know what step to take after that, but it does know exactly what to do next. Take it day by day. Take the step today that your gut is telling you to take. Tomorrow, take another step. Sometimes….all we can do is what we can do today. Sometimes all that we can do is what we can do in THIS MINUTE. Please don’t get caught up in the feeling of overwhelm that comes when we try to figure out what to do next month, next year, in 5 years. Sometimes all we know is where we are supposed to be moment by moment, and that is 100% ok.

25. These 16 Fluffy Animals Will Make You Say Awww on Bored Panda.

26. Newsletter from Mara Glatzel, “The Only Thing on My Bucket List this Year.”

27. Weightless Again: In her suicide note, my sister spoke of not wanting to be a burden on Purple Clover, which ends this way,

We play triage all the time, tending to the sickest one first and hoping that death doesn’t overtake the rest. We take each other at our word: I assume you’ll tell me if you’re so down you want to die, and I’ll try and convince you that the weather will change if you wait long enough. For her I think it never stopped raining.

28. It’s Too Much For Them: Grandmothers Reading Lyrics To Beyonce’s New Song. I am also confounded by these lyrics, so this made me laugh.

29. Wisdom from Vincent Van Gogh, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

30. This poem by Kasey Jueds, first shared with me by Laurie Wagner and recently shared again by Sherry Richert Belul, reminding me of why I say my practices are writing, yoga, meditation, and DOG.

Claim

Once during that year
when all I wanted
was to be anything other
than what I was,
the dog took my wrist
in her jaws. Not to hurt
or startle, but the way
a wolf might, closing her mouth
over the leg of another
from her pack. Claiming me
like anything else: the round luck
of her supper dish or the bliss
of rabbits, their infinite
grassy cities. Her lips
and teeth circled
and pressed, tireless
pressure of the world
that pushes against you
to see if you’re there,
and I could feel myself
inside myself again, muscle
to bone to the slippery
core where I knew
next to nothing
about love.
She wrapped
my arm as a woman might wrap
her hand through the loop
of a leash-as if she
were the one holding me
at the edge of a busy street,
instructing me to stay.

31. Wisdom from Cynthia Occelli,

For a seed to achieve it’s greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, it’s insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

32. Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye “When Love Arrives.”

33. When the dog stays at home alone.