Category Archives: Jena Schwartz

Guilty Pleasure(s)

junkdrawer

Closing my office door to write something of my own
Those damn chocolate coconut almonds from Trader Joe’s that I can’t stop eating
My candy drawer at work
Taking a break from working to visit People.com, because when September 11th happened I had a job that I hated but I made good money so I subscribed to the magazine and that was the only news I kept up with for almost two years after the Twin Towers fell, but after two years I couldn’t stomach it anymore, but still sometimes when things get too real and I feel like I can’t handle it, I open up a browser tab and read
Taking off my bra as soon as I get home
Changing my underwear and bra and socks as many times as I want during the day
Changing my clothes as often as I want
Watching TV
Having subscriptions to three different on demand TV options so there’s always something to watch
That big TV we finally bought, and the computer we hooked up to it so we could watch those on demand things
Turning the heat up
Standing in the shower under the warm water even though I’m done, even though I’m already clean
Sleeping in
Being home alone
Talking naps
Buying my dogs really high quality food
Talking my dogs to the vet when they are probably fine but I know it will make me feel better, comforted
Going to physical therapy even though I probably don’t need to anymore just because I like my therapist so much
Going to my massage therapist because she touches me for a whole hour and a half, makes me feel better, and I don’t have to do the same for her
Demanding that my husband “tell me something good”
Always asking him “Why now, exactly? What made you say it right now?” every time he randomly tells me he loves me
Letting him clean up my dirty dishes
Leaving all of my shoes out
Staying up late to read even though I know it bugs him
Not answering the phone when she calls because I know she’ll be drunk and won’t even remember talking to me
Driving instead of walking
Taking myself out to breakfast or lunch
Eating whatever I want, when I want, as much as I want
Unfriending or blocking people on social media
A new car
New running shoes, three pairs in different colors
Staying in my pajamas all day
Not going to work, even though I was supposed to
Blogging at work
Doing a different pose than my yoga teacher told us to do
Skipping yoga
Closing my office door

*Another response to a prompt from Jena Schwartz’s two week group.

Something Good

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

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

1. Leap Day! A whole extra day! What are you doing with yours, kind and gentle reader?

2. Kids reading to shelter dogs. I’m glad they are doing this, because I’m not allowed in the shelter — I would want to bring all the dogs home.

3. Author and poet Mahogany L. Browne gives her #BriefButSpectacular take on “Black Girl Magic.” So beautiful, so important.

4. I want to try these recipes: Chocolate Guinness Cake, Everyday Chocolate Cake, and Vidalia Onion Upside Down Cornbread, and Ayurvedic Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Soup.

5. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

If we want there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close. We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s true spiritual warriorship. That’s the true practice of peace.

6. From mailboxes to super soakers, check out these 10 items you never knew were invented by black Americans. #blackhistorymonth

7. In related news, 100 Years of Beauty – Episode 18: USA Men 2 (Lester). Every time I watch one of these videos, I am so appreciative of the effort it must have taken to put it together. (And btw, I don’t think the 90s was a good era in fashion for anyone). And while you are at it, check out the other videos on WatchCut Video’s YouTube channel. They’ve got lots of cools stuff, such as this video One Word – Episode 32: Binge Eating (Eating Disorders).

8. What They Did With These Shower Curtain Rods Might just Be The Most Secretly Genius Idea Ever.

9. Snow Day. A cheetah and dog pair have their first snowy experience.

10. The moment of truth: We must stop Trump.

11. A love letter from your fat friend: It’s okay. You’re fat.

12. None of this matters when you’re dead, “Or why I don’t care that my decade worth of blog content has been lost.” I don’t think I’d be so cool about it if this happened to me.

13. Beginner-Friendly Meditation Retreats in Some of the World’s Most Beautiful Settings. #3 is one of my favorite places on the planet, (so much so that I kinda wish they hadn’t included it cause I want to keep it my own little secret).

14. Interview with Emily Brown, from BodyLove on Light Folly.

15. Why Kale May Kill Us, So I’m Getting a Divorce. In related news, Greens, Kale & Thyroid Problems. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and I didn’t know this.

16. Quirky New Chalk Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor by David Zinn. Super cute. I love it that there are people in the world that take the time to do this, to practice their art, to surprise people with the joy of it.

17. Writing Down The Bones: 30 Years Later. One of my favorite writing teachers. And I am constantly amazed — this was her FIRST book. One of the most important writing books ever, in my humble opinion, and it was the first one she wrote.

18. Michelle Nijhuis’s Brief Guide to Writing Reported Essays.

19. 6 Illustrations That Show What It’s Like in an Introvert’s Head.

20. Simplicity is the Way Back to Love from Be More With Less.

21. Art at Altitude: Watch Artist Simon Beck Trample Calculated Murals onto Snowy Mountaintops. So much effort for something that’s just going to melt — and yet, it all melts eventually, doesn’t it?

22. Tips and Myths About Extending Smartphone Battery Life. I don’t know about you, but the state of my cellphone charge gives me such anxiety, so this was very helpful.

23. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup, “Unless one is omniscient or at least enjoys some degree of clairvoyance, no one can judge others. One can see how others appear and how they are behaving, but not who they are or why they are behaving in a particular manner.” During this season of politics, I’ve had to remind myself of this again and again.

24. How to make peanut butter toast. This seems to be about more than just peanut butter toast.

25. That Time I Stole an Atkin’s Diet Book From Bj’s from Mara Glatzel. I love everything about this.

26. The life that’s left from Jamie Greenwood. This is such a good reminder. “The only thing I was ever promised at birth was life and THIS, this loss wrapped in pain wrapped in sweet remembrance wrapped in joy, is all part of the package.”

27. 5 Reasons to Meditate by Pema Chödrön. “Yes, it’s a strange thing to do — just sit there and do basically nothing. Yet the simple act of stopping, says Pema Chödrön, is the best way to cultivate our good qualities. Here are five ways it makes us better people.”

28. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

There really is no one on this entire planet who knows every single thing that you have lived through, that you have learned, that you have endured, that you have overcome, that you have feared, that you have loved, that you have grieved, that you have built, that you have dreamed up, that you have worked toward. This is why, incredible soul, it is so important to hold yourself to be as sacred as you truly are.

You are a whole lot of beautifulness, in little things and in big things. You are a whole lot of colorfulness woven together in a way that has never ever ever been woven. Don’t let others try to define you, sweet friend. Don’t let others minimize you or try to squeeze you tight into a box that makes them comfortable. You are you and you are too wild and sparkling to fit inside of ANY box. You are meant to shine your light. When you need to feel 100% understood, turn to the source of truth and light. And turn to that beautiful soul inside of you — she is so so so wise.

And remember that we can never know every single thing about others, either. We are all very complicated souls, and we would all be a lot happier if we gave everyone a little bit of grace and focus on the good things we DO know.

29. Women and Body Image with Isabel Foxen Duke, an interview. “On women and body image with the fabulous Isabel Foxen Duke as well as helpful tips and tactics to free yourself from body worries.”

30. How To Deal With Haters. Unfortunately in this age of social media, this is something we all face at one time or another, and this is really sound advice.

31. Reactions: Not everything in life is Likable. This is a really great article that talks about how the new Facebook reaction options were developed.

32. Manny Selfie Cat, one of the best accounts on Instagram.

33. Fatphobic Nurse Makes Me Say F*ck Seven Times and 11 Reasons Why I Focus On Health and Not Weight from Dances with Fat.

34. A Mother’s Confession: A Song with Footnotes from Amanda Palmer. Trigger alert: if you are a mom, this might just wreck you.

35. Wisdom from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “If we don’t develop contentment, we can never have what we want or enjoy what we have.” Oh, snap!

36. Exquisite Curiosity and Food from Geneen Roth.

37. One of my new favorite songs, ATTLAS – Parallel Lines.

38. Magic Tricks from Jena Schwartz. So beautiful. Writers like Jena raise the bar for my writing in the best possible way.

39. The Hunger for Rest, an important reminder from the amazing Rachel Cole, because this, “If you find yourself eating as a way to avoid the rest you’re craving or as a way to silence your inner critic who bashes you for your laziness, consider embracing your unique needs for rest and see what happens.”

40. Our Everloving Quest to Control Our Lives from Zen Habits. This is such an important read. We should all probably just memorize it, recite it in the mirror every morning. We’d all be so much happier if we could “get” just this one thing.

41. Five Ways To Love Yourself Courageously on Life is Limitless. This is also so important. Caroline starts by saying, “I’ve been focused on personal growth quite intensely now for many years, I’ve read countless books, taken various courses, spent years in therapy, worked with a number of coaches and the number one thing that I learnt from it all is this: If you don’t love yourself deeply and completely, then you can’t ever be truly happy.”

Something Good

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

1. The King Center, “Established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (‘The King Center’) has been a global destination, resource center and community institution for over a quarter century.” Their website has an amazing archive of materials worth checking out.

2. Good stuff from Terrible Minds: Self-Care For Writers: Some Tips and Your 2016 Authorial Mandate Is Here: Be The Writer That You Are, Not The Writer Other People Want You To Be and Death Becomes Us.

3. To Be Happier, Start Thinking More About Your Death, an Op-Ed on The New York Times by Arthur C. Brooks about an important and challenging shift in perspective.

4. Watch Every #SmartGirlsAsk Answer From the 2016 Golden Globes. These are so much more interesting than “who are you wearing?”

5. A New Year. A Fresh Start. #3bravethings I love Diana’s alternative to making New Year’s Resolutions. What would your three brave things be?

6. It’s Nice to See You, another great response to Oprah’s Weight Watcher’s deal.

7. That time David Bowie almost became a Buddhist monk — and what he said (and sang) about that time on Lion’s Roar. I hadn’t heard this before. So fascinating. I love the idea that we all have a particular way that we can be of most benefit.

8. Alessia Cara covered “Hotline Bling” and “Magnets” and now we know heaven. I love Alessia Cara, had no idea she was so young but her voice has that magic timeless quality all the best artists do.

9. How to Stop the Doubting Yourself / Quitting/ Looking for a Magic Solution Cycle – Today. Jennifer Louden is one of those teachers, women, beings that is able to tell the truth, the whole truth even the brutal parts, but always in the end offer some relief. It’s a particular kind of magic.

10. The (Not So) Tell-Tale (Fat) Heart from Dances With Fat, which makes a very important point about the “facts” we’ve been fed.

11. Dreamy Animated Light Paintings by Lucea Spinelli. These are amazing, but they also make me a bit dizzy if I look at them for too long.

12. Weight-Bias Within The Eating Disorder Recovery Movement. “How you can combat fat-phobia in the eating disorder recovery community.”

13. Every Meeting You’ve Ever Been To (In Two Minutes). Hilarious!

14. I can’t from The Bloggess — on sadness and regret, and the importance of telling people they matter while you still can.

15. 50 Motivating Quotes for Your Career, inspiration from Laura Simms, “50 of my favorite quotations, organized by theme: Purpose, Action, Courage, Creativity, and Leadership. Find a favorite for today, and Pin this post so you can come back when you need something different.”

16. Storyteller Captures ‘Humans Of The Colorado Trail.’ David Fanning (of Fort Collins, where I live) “collected about 100 stories like this on his blog, and is now working on a book.” (Inspired by Humans of New York, one of my favorite things e v e r). Such a cool project.

17. Oregon to Patagonia, “Jedidiah Jenkins’ parents once walked across America, ending their journey in Oregon. Now, Jedidiah is on an extraordinary journey himself, picking up where his parents left off and traveling south to Patagonia, Chile — by bicycle.” His pictures are amazing.

18. A great post from Austin Kleon about the book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers.

19. These genius “Seabins” vacuum garbage and pollution right out of the ocean. A really great idea. More of this, please.

20. 19 Lasagnas for Veggie Lovers, a great set of recipes from The New York Times. One disclaimer: I don’t agree with how they’ve marked some of these as “healthy,” thus categorizing them into “good” and “bad” food.

21. The Spaces Between the Consonants by Jena Schwartz, a great piece on On Being.

22. This Selfie Taking Cat Takes Better Selfies Than You. Oh how I love this dude.

23. Truthbomb #975 from Danielle LaPorte, “Choose kind over cool.”

24. Why I love the cards (and a giveaway!) from Susannah Conway.

25. Meditation for Beginners: 20 Practical Tips for Understanding the Mind, great set of tips from Zen Habits.

26. Why Owning 24 Items of Clothing Is Good For My Creativity, (thanks for the link, Tammy).

27. Adele Carpool Karaoke. Love it!

28. Recipe: Lemon & Thyme Syrup Cake from decor8. Yum.

29. It’s all a mistake, wisdom from Seth Godin.

30. President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address.

Something Good

ladybugcan

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

1. Mabel Magazine #4: What’s Next? is available for preorder, (one of my pieces is featured). I love their tagline so much, “making a living, creating a life.”

2. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: What if your job didn’t exist? and Will anyone come to my party? What I like so much about Alexandra’s advice is that even though it’s really good for specific people, it’s also applicable to anyone who is human, anyone trying to figure out how to live their lives.

3. Go Big, Go Weird, Go You, And Fuck Fear Right In The Ear and Kubler-Ross Model of Grief Associated With Editing And Rewriting on Terrible Minds. He might use a lot of naughty words to do it, but Chuck tells the TRUTH.

4. The Case of the Stolen Basketball Hoop from Jena Schwartz, in which she says, “Isn’t that the reason I blog, to pull all of the disparate strands from a day into some kind of bow you’d recognize and want to pull open, to unwrap with the promise of something beautiful waiting inside?”

5. 3 Ways to NOT Fail at NaNoWriMo. And in related news, 12 Thoughts On NaNoWriMo: Why you should or should NOT participate in National Novel Writing Month.

6. Getting Over the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) from Kute Blackson. I don’t necessarily think that something more exciting is happening somewhere else, I worry that if I stop, slow down, take a break, I’m going to miss something good, something important — so I listen to Kute preach.

7. The power of fear and Simple questions for writers from Seth Godin.

8. Eighteen Attempts at Writing About a Miscarriage. Sad, beautiful.

9. 10 Slow and Steady Strategies for Practical Decluttering from Be More With Less – clear, useful, simple instructions from Courtney Carver.

10. How To Be An Artist (In An Internet Age), an interview with Austin Kleon.

11. What have you experienced? on Chookooloonks. Make sure to read the comments, leave one of your own.

12. One-Third Of This Company’s Workers Have Criminal Backgrounds. “Dave’s Killer Bread is urging other employers to hire ex-convicts, too.” This is the kind of bread we eat, because it’s good and because they are doing good.

13. 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity. #3 is my favorite.

14. ‘Broad City’ released a Columbus Day video, because they know what we need.

15. Making Magic: Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Big Magic on Flingo.

16. Artist Uses Nature To Color Animal Paper Silhouettes on Bored Panda. In related news, Self-Taught Polish Artist Uses Fallen Autumn Leaves As Canvases For Her Paintings and Maple Leaves Left In A Box For 15 Years Became Canvases For My Art. Which reminds me of Flor & Fawn, a creative collaboration between Katie Daisy & Karen Eland — they are going to start doing custom pet portraits and I really want some of my dogs!

17. The Key To Oprah Winfrey’s Success: Radical Focus, a fascinating look behind the scenes.

18. Rest on Allowing Myself.

19. UN to investigate plight of US Native Americans for first time. “The UN human rights inquiry will focus on the living conditions of the 2.7 million Native Americans living in the US.”

20. To Witness Victory of This New Bravery by Omid Safi at On Being. So good.

21. Rescue Kitten Adopted By 5 Ferrets Thinks It’s A Ferret Too. Stupid cute.

22. The Meaning of Hatha Yoga (and No, It’s Not “Sun & Moon”) from Michael Lloyd-Billington, one of my favorite local teachers. I teach Hatha Yoga and this was still an interesting read for me.

23. “A Love Affair with Change”: An Inkerview with Isabel Abbott on The Inky Path.

24. Karl Paulnack Welcome Address on The Boston Conservatory. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read about the importance of the arts, of artists, of humans. He concludes, among other things, that,

Art is part of survival; art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, “I am alive, and my life has meaning.”

25. Why October is Hard on Getting the Words Wrong. All I can say is Amen.

26. Truthbomb #907 from Danielle LaPorte, “No need to try so hard.”

27. The Water Takes You Just as You Are from Rachel Cole.

28. The Lonely Death of George Bell from The New York Times. “Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, some alone and unseen. Yet death even in such forlorn form can cause a surprising amount of activity. Sometimes, along the way, a life’s secrets are revealed.” This piece was so interesting, so heartbreaking.

29. The Tiny Book Show. There’s still plenty of time to take part.

30. RISE, a morning yoga course with Adriene.

31. Read this when no one loves you. You know what, read it anyway. Read it now.

32. A Group Of People Tried Journaling Every Day For A Month And It Got A Little Too Introspective, a BuzzFeed video. “A group of us was asked to commit to writing in a journal 10 minutes every day for a month and this is how we did.”

33. 22 Habits That Will Make Your Life a Little More Peaceful Each Day. Certainly worth a try.

34. A Girl Gets Her Period And Is Banished To The Shed: #15Girls.

35. Your life is of the utmost importance, Susan Piver’s latest Open Heart Project video. In the email she sent to the OHP Sangha, she ended this way, “Thank you for being alive. Thank you for bringing your unique beauty to us all. Thank you for working to open your heart to the mystery.” Amen.

36. Wisdom from Dza Kilung Rinpoche,

You don’t need to be an “excellent meditator” to start with. All you need to do is have your heart and mind make the following agreement: “Let’s rest. There’s no reason right now to wander around following thoughts or worrying. Let’s be relaxed and open.” There’s not even any need to shut down your thoughts. Just be there with them, but not overly concerned or engaged. Let there be total openness, and just relax within that.

37. Anna Kendrick’s Surprising (and Brilliant) Shower Thoughts. The last one is the best, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Something Good

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

1. This American Was Shocked When His Facebook Post About England Went Viral. “A few weeks ago he visited England, and he decided to share his observations on Facebook.” This list is both interesting and funny.

2. Wildlife is absolutely thriving at Chernobyl disaster site.

3. Living a Full Life, a dharma teaching from Natalie Goldberg. “A writer, for better or for worse, gets to live life twice.”

4. This offensive photo sparked a whole lot of love for the boy who deserved better.

5. It’s here and it’s being claimed “The first zero-waste grocery store in the world.”

6. Nutritower is a vertical farm for your tiny condo.

7. The Just F*cking Journal Class: October 12th-16th. “5 days. 5 fresh prompts. 5 ways to get present with YOU.” This is a great opportunity, a great practice — FREE.

8. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel, on the page for her The Deep Exhale offering, something I needed to hear so badly I signed up for it,

When we are well-rested, well-nourished, and well-loved we are able to show up in the world to do the work that we were put on the planet to do with ease and grace. It really is that simple and yet, so many of us tie ourselves up in knots believing that working hard(er) is the only way forward.

9. Begin Again: How Yoga Unlocks the Writer Within from Dani Shapiro, in which she says,

The writing life is painstakingly slow. We toil invisibly, tearing our hair out, steam escaping from our ears, our hearts frozen in fear, our poor small selves so full of the tension of what we hope to express and the impossibility of ever getting it exactly right. It’s just about unbearable, which is why we look to our totems to help us along the way. But perhaps the wisdom we crave isn’t to be found inside those objects we imbue with magic and meaning. Perhaps—just perhaps—to quote Woolf once more, “We are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.”

10. Squirrel Rescued After Hurricane Becomes Family’s Cutest Member. A squirrel named Jill.

11. The True Secret of Writing: A Talk With Natalie Goldberg, wisdom from one of my favorite teachers.

12. #3bravethings : Have You Done 3 Brave Things in 2015 Yet? from Diana Dellos.

13. Money Talks with Jill Salahub I love the Money Talks series on Mabel Magazine with the lovely Sherry Richert Belul, and was so happy when she asked me to take part. It’s so timely, because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I make my living.

14. The Simple Technique that Changed My Life on Elephant Journal. This article explains why I meditate better than almost anything I’ve ever read.

Our tendency at grasping for the next thing to fill a hole that we perceive in our being is demonstrated in our thoughts during meditation practice. By cutting the pattern of discursive thought we learn to relax and just be. We can actually sit and be content. But, we’re not doing all of this to just be good little meditators, or to have short reprieves during our day from our constant state of anxiety and dissatisfaction. We’re doing this during our sitting time so that it begins to affect our entire life.

15. The corporatization of higher education: With a system that caters to the 1 percent, students and faculty get screwed. I could only read this in short doses. It’s so true, so disappointing, that it makes me feel sick.

This exploitation of low-wage faculty is part of what’s known as the corporatization of higher education. Increasingly, both public and private colleges are being run on the cost-cutting model of American business. Which presents a burning question: If faculty are being paid less, class sizes are growing and tuition is higher than ever, where is the money going?

16. Dog Refuses To Leave The Side Of Man Who Saved Him From Flood. This story had me in tears.

17. This Is What You Should Eat. Any Questions? This is so great, highlights how hard it can be to know what to eat when we listen to something other than our own body, our own inherent wisdom. And, it’s funny at the same time.

18. Instead of a ‘dislike’ button, Facebook tests new set of reaction emojis.

19. Mom’s Viral Facebook Post Offers Powerful Message After Miscarriage, “Scars tell stories. Scars mean survival. Scars mean you showed up for the fight instead of running from it.”

20. Awake in the World, 2nd Annual Online Free Event, November 4th – 8th. Last year this was great, and this year promises to be the same. So many great teachers.

21. Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Austin Kleon. A great podcast, a great guest.

22. The Brutal Economics of Being a Yoga Teacher.

23. Good stuff from this week’s Positively Present Picks list: 25 Hilarious Tweets That Perfectly Capture Your Feelings About Animals, and 5 Positive Reasons for Saying No, and The Two Best Ways to Uncover Your Truth.

24. Austin Kleon on Mary Karr’s new book, The Art of Memoir.

25. the shutterbugs: kate holstein on SF Girl by Bay. Such dreamy pictures. I clicked through to her full website and got lost in it.

26. 5 Ways to Manage Stress at Work, some great tips from Laura Simms, who is also offering Your Career Homecoming Training Series videos for FREE on her new website.

27. The Crossroads of Should and Must. “This is a story about two roads — Should and Must. It’s a pep talk for anyone who’s chosen Should for far too long — months, years, maybe a lifetime — and feels like it’s about time they gave Must a shot.” This post ended up inspiring a book that I really want to read.

28. Why you should stop saying should on Positively Present. Stop shoulding all over yourself.

29. Wisdom from Anam Thubten,

If we were asked to be free right now, to jump into the sea of love in this very moment, we might turn our attention inward and try it, and it may not work. Why? Because of a hindrance, a block. That block is the very sense of “I am” that is the false image of who we are. It is the shell that is veiling, covering our true nature. So the goal of all spiritual endeavors is to actually realize the enlightened part of who we are, not sometime in the future, but right now.

30. Wisdom from Kiki Smith,

Just do your work. And if the world needs your work it will come and get you. And if it doesn’t, do your work anyway. You can have fantasies about having control over the world, but I know I can barely control my kitchen sink. That is the grace I’m given. Because when one can control things, one is limited to one’s own vision.

31. The Geography Of Sorrow: Francis Weller On Navigating Our Losses.

32. Claritude from Jena Schwartz.

33. Breathe, an eleven week, (self-directed), deep breathing, creative recovery retreat for your spirit with the lovely Julia Fehrenbacher.

34. A dirty secret called grief. “After her mother’s death, Kiran Sidhu found she was expected to ‘move on’ with such bewildering haste that her only option was to conceal her sorrow.”

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. ~Hermann Hesse

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

1. My Cup Runneth Over by Jena Schwartz. This is real life — a mess, and some kind of magic.

2. Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert on Creative Courage and the Art of Living in a State of Uninterrupted Marvel on Brain Pickings. She was also recently interviewed on Good Life Project radio, Elizabeth Gilbert: The Creative Life.

3. I am my own worst enemy by Paul Jarvis. (Just to be clear, I am one of his rat people, “the people that get what you do, appreciate it, and love you for it”).

4. Wisdom from Seth Godin: The 2% who misunderstand you, and The banality of the magazine rack, and Dreams and fears.

5. Yoga, spinning and a murder: My strange months at Lululemon. I love what this has to say about being who you really are.

6. Francine’s interview, from Human (the movie). “Born in 1933, Francine Christophe was deported with her mother at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. Released the following year, she continues to share her experience and memories, particularly with the younger generations.” (Confession: I’ve had a lifelong obsession with stories from the Holocaust, specifically the way that moment in history brought out the best and the worst in those involved).

7. Human, the movie, Volumes 1-3, which you can watch online, for FREE.

What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery? Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. Working with a dedicated team of translators, journalists and cameramen, Yann captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all; struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness.

8. Bryan Chapman of Mississippi has hummingbirds drinking out of his hand!

9. Author Lauren Myracle calls on overprotective parents to stop banning books. Find out more about Banned Books Week, Sept. 27- Oct. 3, on the official website.

10. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa, “In the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.” I love this quote. I also hate this quote.

11. Uh-oh. I think my new favorite album might be Ryan Adams’s reimagining of Taylor Swift’s 1989. NPR did a really good piece about it, No Blank Space, Baby: Taylor Swift Is The Soul Of Ryan Adams.

12. Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation, a great review of a great book.

13. 10 Reasons We Should Defund Planned Parenthood IMMEDIATELY. *gigglesnort*

14. Jenny Lawson “The Bloggess” Gets Furiously Happy con Queso with an Interview, an Announcement and an Old-School Giveaway.

15. So much wisdom from Alexandra Franzen, How to love your work… even when you don’t love your work, and How to avoid being someone’s “assistant” for the rest of your career and finally do your own thing, and 7 beautiful, meaningful writing projects that you can finish in a single day. Because finishing is sexy.

16. One-Pot Butternut Squash Alfredo. I bought two butternut squash at the grocery store this weekend, not really surewhat I was going to do with them exactly. THIS, this is what…

17. Why I Almost Didn’t Tell You About the Book I’m Writing from Be More With Less.

18. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter: Thoughts on authenticity from the documentary The Search for General Tso, (we watched this documentary, and I agree with Austin’s assessment of it), and Everyone lies about writing, and a great video tutorial, How to make a newspaper blackout poem.

19. I never should have followed my dreams. “I quit my steady gig to fulfill my potential. Instead I went broke, and got fired from a job in doggie daycare.”

20. Six-year-old’s heartfelt lecture to mom and dad. An adorable little girl’s words of wisdom have gone viral after her mother uploaded a video of her pleading with her divorced parents to be friends. The video has been viewed more than six million times. In the video, Tiana tells her mom, “I think you can do it. I think you can settle your mean heights down to short heights … I just want everything to be settled down, nothing else. For everything to be as good as possible. Nothing else.” She’s so earnest and sweet that you can’t help but want to try harder to be nicer after listening to her.

21. 15 Celebs Answering Badass, Inspiring Questions On The Emmys Red Carpet, because it’s time to start asking more than “What are you wearing?”

22. Grab your tissues: This couple’s wedding day was all about their ailing dog.

23. A hedge fund bro bought an AIDS drug, then raised the price from $13.50 to $750. Compare that to Kickstarter Focuses Its Mission on Altruism Over Profit.

24. He Wears Nail Polish Because He’s a Good Father.

The only thing that is missing from this video is Nathan’s backstory. He’s even more amazing than what they show here — in 2011, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer, and nine days later, his wife Elisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nathan beat his cancer, but Elisa died in March of 2014.

25. It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. *gigglesnort*

26. Andrea Scher has a new website just for her photography. I was lucky enough to do a session with her. She’s fantastic.

27. Japanese Photographer Documents The Beauty Of Everyday Life In Japan. Confession: I’m a Japan-ophile. Even though I long to, I’m afraid to travel there, worried I’ll love it so much I won’t want to come back.

28. Library Haul – September 2015 on Allowing Myself, one of my favorite blogs/bloggers. I love Justine’s description of the power of books and reading, “Non-fiction holds my attention. Fiction keeps me afloat. Reading calms and centers me in a way that not much else can.” And if you need more proof of why I love this blog, just read Tiny Shifts — honest, vulnerable, tender, and sad, but so inspiring. Justine writes about what is hard, but she makes it clear she’s also not giving up. Tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal.

29. Meet the blogger who turned her battle with an eating disorder into a body positive movement.

30. 100 questions to discover yourself from Positively Present. I love this kind of thing, use them as journal prompts, as well as regularly torturing friends and my significant other with them.

31. A Blog Is Only Dead When You Are, more on the topic “is blogging dead?” (which honestly is a silly question, akin to something like “are books dead?”).

32. permission on Chookooloonks.

33. AngelList, a platform for startups to hire people. If I were looking for a job, I think I’d check this out.

34. A Person You Should Know: Courtney Carver. I shared this site on a Something Good list a while back, and the creator Josh Spector asked who I thought he should profile. Courtney is one of the people I suggested.

35. A White Artist Wrote ‘Black Lives Matter’ 2,000 Times. But His Mural Almost Said ‘All Lives Matter.’

36. Is Teaching Yoga Your Path? 8 Qualities of Excellent Teachers. “Considering yoga teacher training? 90 Monkeys co-founder Amy Ippoliti suggests you start by asking yourself some tough questions.”

37. Spiritual practice won’t stop shitty things from happening to you. However…, a reality check from Danielle LaPorte in which she makes some important distinctions about the benefits of practice.

38. Alison’s Story, another installment of the Transgender in Colorado series from The Denver Post.

39. To the stinking alcoholic at the liquor store last week from Renegade Mothering. I’m sharing this with someone I love. I hope she reads it. I hope she gets it. I hope she stops before it’s too late.

40. When the Everyday Calls For Super Powers and a Good Plum Tart on Flingo.

41. 8 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make In A Muffin Tin. Too bad the pictures they used for this post are so horribly unappetizing.

42. Watch Shiva Rea’s Moon Salutation.

43. Why I Quit Teaching Yoga & Hope to Never Go Back on Elephant Journal. The reason is not at all what you’d expect, and makes me think all of us yoga teachers should do the same thing.

44. Watch These Dancers Tell A Breakup Story In A Way Words Can’t Convey.

Something Good

aspenssepteric

image by Eric

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

1. Unfold: An Introduction to Art Journaling from the Heart, my dear friend Susie’s new online class. I’m taking it, and if you want to join us, register by September 27th for the early bird pricing. Class starts Sunday, October 11th.

2. How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People), a new book by Lodro Rinzler, co-authored by Meggan Watterson. “This book is a smart, hip guide for spiritual seekers who want to experience more love and stability in all forms or relationships.”

3. Unicorn farts & big breaks from the amazing Paul Jarvis, in which he explains two very important things. One, what looks like an overnight success usually is not, because “Achievement is never the result of a single action, it’s the build-up of all of our actions.” And two, that the joy should come in the making, the doing, the process, because “The sweat, research, trials and failures, dead ends and unknowns are exactly what makes things great…The process can be enjoyed as much or more than the outcome because otherwise, why bother?” Paul sends out an email to his list every Sunday, but also created an archive of those messages on Medium. It’s worth a look.

4. Tell Me Your Story, Not Your Status. “You are living a story. What is it?”

5. Giving Up The Need To Be Perfect from Kute Blackson. A great argument against perfection, because “Trying to be perfect is a sure recipe for suffering.” This guy knows how to preach. Whenever I watch one of Kute’s videos, I feel so energized, so inspired. Do yourself a favor and watch. Also, don’t forget to read the post that goes with it.

6. Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up. Everyone needs a copy of this list on hand, every single human.

7. 8 Ways to Change Your Habits (And Actually Get What You Want) from Sarah Kathleen Peck, a really helpful, simple list. #3 and #5 are my favorites.

8. Rejection-seeking as a form of hiding and When did you give up? from Seth Godin. Oh, snap!

9. Wisdom from poet Mary Oliver, “Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.” Her new book, Felicity, comes out next month, and has been described as an “inviting collection of love poems that celebrates the divine as much as it does the natural world or human relationships,” and “an eloquent celebration of simple joy from one of America’s most beloved poets.”

10. Something-for-Everyone Cookies, a recipe from SouleMama.

11. The Dieting Habit I Just Couldn’t Break, a brilliant post from Isabel Foxen Duke.

12. An Open Letter to People Who Use Hashtags. #gigglesnort #thisisgreat #youshouldreadit

13. 36 Things To Do For Those In Grief: I made a list when it happened to me.

14. The Art of Not Dying: A Story for Suicide Awareness Month.

15. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter: the first draft is always perfect and Give it five minutes.

16. Do people still read blogs?, and interesting conversation on A Design So Vast, which includes links to pieces by Vikki Reich and Nina Badzin.

17. The First-Person Industrial Complex: The Internet prizes the harrowing personal essay. But sometimes telling your story comes with a price.

18. Scott Dinsmore, creator of Live Your Legend, died in a freak accident on Mt. Kilimanjaro this past week. He was only 33 years old. I’m Going Off the Grid: Therapy for an Addicted & Over-Connected World ended up being his last blog post ever. In it, he said, “The pause is disappearing. That priceless space that allows us to think big, to reflect, to plan, to create – it’s becoming harder and harder to find. Which means our responsibility to save it is greater than ever.” There have been some really great tributes written about him, here and here. If you didn’t know who he was, I recommend you watch his TED talk, or this episode of The Good Life Project.

19. The Story of a Girl & Lake by Sunni Chapman.

20. Every Day She Said ‘Hello’ To This Homeless Man. But One Day He Handed Her A Piece Of Paper, a beautiful short critically acclaimed documentary called “The Conditioned.”

21. Nurses defend Miss Colorado after ‘The View’ hosts mock her monologue (VIDEO).

22. Teacher’s Cardio ‘Nae Nae’ Will Make You Want To Go To Gym Class. Which reminds me of the Where the Hell is Matt? project, and Dance Walking Fitness. Confession: dancing makes me stupid happy.

23. 25 things you should start adding to your compost pile from Tree Hugger. We are big composters, even have a worm bin, but some of this stuff I would have never thought to put in the pile.

24. Why I Cook from Dr. Andrew Weil. A great exploration of the magic of cooking, in which he says, “There is another reward of cooking that fascinates and motivates me: it is excellent training in practical magic. By that I mean that cooking gives you a chance to practice the esoteric art of manifestation — bringing something from the imagination into physical reality.”

25. Blogging from the Heart with Susannah Conway, one of the best ecourses I ever took. Registration opens Wednesday September 9th and class starts Monday October 5th.

26. Meditation and the Truth of Suffering, a dharma teaching from Sakyong Mipham.

27. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering—yours, mine, and that of all beings.

28. Five Minutes of Awesomely Real Self-Care, wisdom from Mara Glatzel, “In the beginning, I was ‘busy.’ My work was more important than I was. Saying yes to everyone around me was more important than I was. Being seen as perfect was more important than I was…Tell yourself that you belong in your own life.”

29. Note from the Universe,

Be proud to know as much as you do about life, dreams, and reality. Bask, Jill. It was a long climb up the stairway of enlightenment, and many a battle over false beliefs and mass consciousness have been won.

You don’t have to shout from the roof to live your truth, but don’t shy away from the ignorant; they need you. Nor be intimidated by the wise; they love you. And please don’t ever let self-consciousness keep you from stepping out into a world that would be unimaginably incomplete without you.

You are a vessel of light, a holy ghost, and frankly, so dang “hot.”

30. an antidote to craving abundance on Chookooloonks.

31. Dear Writers And Creative-Types: You Don’t Need Motivation on Terrible Minds.

32. 8 Ways to Finish the Year with Love and Intention from Be More With Less.

33. Fat Girl Running: On A Mission to Challenge Stereotypes.

34. Furiously Happy – Official Book Trailer.

35. Dog Spends A WEEK Guarding Her Trapped Best Friend Until Help Arrives.

36. Inky Path, a great new project from Jena Schwartz and Cidgem Kobu.

37. Susan Piver: Heart Wide Open, Episode 53 on Meditate This, a podcast about the meaning of life.

38. 12 Secrets to Simplifying Your Life and Lightening Your Load from Marc and Angel Hack Life.