Category Archives: Justine Musk

Something Good

Dadd's Gulch, image by Eric

Dadd’s Gulch, image by Eric

1. On Running a Web-based Business by Tammy Strobel.

2. Please ask yourself this question before you choose the “format” for your next product, service, art project, or heart project and How I met the love of my life. {A true story…about what happens when you say what is true} from Alexandra Franzen.

3. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

And real healing — of the body, the heart, the mind, and the soul — happens only when we are in the state of rest and digest. That is, when we show up and come into direct relationship with what is, we have a chance to heal into what and who we are really.

4. Good stuff from Bored Panda: 20+ Of The Best Packaging Designs Ever, and Japanese Flip Books Reveal Magical Stories With Negative Space and Secret Chambers, and Russian Miner Spends His Breaks Taking Photos Of Foxes In The Arctic Circle, and Goldfish Tea Bags Will Turn Your Teacup Into A Fishbowl.

5. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Time to Write, and Onward, and It Doesn’t Have to Be Easy.

6. Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world.

7. It is okay to need a lot of help, wisdom From Anne Lamott on Facebook.

8. The 8-hour rule is bunk: Why conventional wisdom about sleep is stressing us out on Salon.

9. On Doing the Work from Lisa Congdon.

10. sometimes happiness can only emerge from periods of unhappiness, wisdom from Justine Musk.

11. Mom lets her son pick his own outfit, and the results are awesome, especially this:

“For now we will just let him experiment and let him decide when he’s older what he wants,” says Dawn. “I feel like a great deal of the depression and hate in this world comes from children being raised to think who they are and how they feel is wrong, then they grow into broken, confused adults.” Dawn admits that when Kaige first expressed an interest in dressing like a girl, she was terrified — not because it bothered her, but because she feared the way the world would treat her child.

12. A Brief History Of Old Navy’s Troubled Relationship With Fat Women from xojane.

13. The Truth About Marriage, Monogamy & Long-Term Partnership on Elephant Journal.

14. 4 Surefire Ways To Make Your Partner Feel Loved on MindBodyGreen.

15. amy palko: talking about a revolution, an interview with Sas Petherick.

16. The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day.

17. A farewell to Dr. Sophia Yin.

18. Oh, the irony from Kat McNally.

19. devotion (all the ways life gives fire) from lists and letters.

20. trusteeship & coffee art on Chookooloonks.

21. An open letter to Oprah, whose ‘The Life You Want’ tour asked me to work for free.

22. Creative Giant Podcast Episode Four: Become More Mindful with Susan Piver.

23. Burrs, rough edges & tangled mats of hair by Laurie Wagner.

24. Could female self-hatred be the real cause of autoimmune disease? from Sarah Wilson. This made so much sense to me, but many readers misunderstood, so she followed it up with “Female illness is not all in the mind” and 19 other things I’d like you to know about unreasoned e-blowouts.

25. One Hilarious Video Perfectly Sums Up a Big Problem With Western Humanitarianism.

26. 9 strategies for surviving the holidays with an open heart from Gemma Stone.

27. Defining the Well-fed Woman from Rachel Cole.

28. Being Small is the Greatest Escape by Stacy Morrison.

29. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself. Loving-kindness for yourself does not mean making sure you’re feeling good all the time—trying to set up your life so that you’re comfortable every moment. Rather, it means setting up your life so that you have time for meditation and self-reflection, for kindhearted, compassionate self-honesty. In this way you become more attuned to seeing when you’re biting the hook, when you’re getting caught in the undertow of emotions, when you’re grasping and when you’re letting go. This is the way you become a true friend to yourself just as you are, with both your laziness and your bravery. There is no step more important than this.

30. Wisdom from Gertrude Stein,

Everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves in order to tell what is inside themselves. That is why writers have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live really. The second one is romantic, separate from themselves, it is not real but it is really there.

31. We are All This Golden Retriever Spectacularly Bombing an Agility Test.

32. Interesting stuff about Amanda Palmer, There’s More To Asking Than Just Art (a book review), and The Art of Asking Why We Hate Amanda Palmer.

33. Ursula K. Le Guin’s fiery speech, and the overwhelming reaction to it.

34. Short animation describes what drug addiction is like. *sigh*

35. ‘If We Left, They Wouldn’t Have Nobody’ from Story Corps.

36. More wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.

37. Less expensive options for a convertible desk: A Standing/Sitting Desk You Can Afford and Ikea’s New Desk Goes From Sitting To Standing With The Push Of A Button. Obviously I’m not the only one interested in this — look at how much this Kickstarter campaign earned!

38. Do great work. Live great lives. on Medium.

39. What Normal Looks Like on Huffington Post.

40. Groomer Shaves Homeless Dog. What She Found Underneath All That Hair Made My Eyes Tear Up.

41. 10 Great Privileges We Forget to Be Thankful For from Marc and Angel Hack Life. #5 isn’t true for me, but the rest certainly are, and I’m grateful.

Open Love Letter to Mary Lambert

image credit: Laura Fedele

image credit: Laura Fedele

When I first heard Mary Lambert sing, I only knew her as as “that woman with the amazing voice” on the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis single Same Love. I couldn’t get her out of my head, so I searched until I found out who she was, Googling something just like that — “woman singing on Same Love.” It’s much the same way I found Dido, hearing her sing first on Eminem’s track Stan, and not being able to stop hearing her voice, needing to find more of her music, and when I did being completely amazed. One of the very first videos I watched of Mary was her performing She Keeps Me Warm live in the KEXP studio, a Seattle radio station. I was gobsmacked.

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you know I’m on a path, in the midst of a life-rehab. It began in earnest the year I made my last New Year’s resolution: to be a better friend to myself. In the context of that effort, I realized I’d been in a long term abusive relationship … with myself. I also realized I was a dis-ordered eater, and that my relationship with my physical body needed some serious help, healing.

My internal struggle is mighty and I generate a lot of suffering for myself, but just as powerful as that is the effort it takes to go against cultural norms and expectations. When you decide to stop being at war with your body, to put down the knife you’ve been holding to your own throat, to love yourself exactly as you are — you will find yourself having to live outside, against norms, as an outcast even. We live with a quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) violence against women, so imbedded in every facet of our experience that we’ve gone numb to it, internalized it, become our own bully in order to fit in, be worthy of love and acceptance. It’s a difficult process to untangle yourself from years of such intense judgment and criticism, so many rules and deeply imbedded beliefs.

The culture does not teach girls to own it. From early on, a girl receives messages that her body, her sexuality, her dreams and ambitions, her opinions must be shaped to please other people. If her inner voice threatens to speak out too loudly, or passionately, or take up too much airtime; if it threatens to rock the boat in any way, she learns to switch it off.

If she feels a rise of anger, she learns to disconnect it – good girls don’t get angry – even if it signals that her boundaries have been violated.

Over and over again, she learns to look outside of herself for approval and validation, for the magical authority figure who will give her the A, the prize, the promotion, the compliment, the diamond ring. ~Justine Musk, you are your own damn permission slip

You ultimately have to save yourself. Whether it’s through sheer will or pure desperation, you know something has to shift, and as Mary Lambert writes in her song Sum of Our Parts, “Don’t go looking for some kind of rescue / You are the only one who can save you.”

And yet, you don’t have to be alone. I am here because I found a tribe, wise beings who have walked this path before me, have made maps, lit fires so I could find my way. They have guided me, healed me, kept me company. They are committed to living and telling the truth, they practice the hardest of all things — showing up just as they are and keeping their hearts open.

Mary Lambert is one of those women. I got to see her in concert last week, and it reminded me how important it is that we keep showing up. She does, and it’s beautiful to see. She’s “a shiny ball of glitter and magic” who cries and feels angry and laughs and struggles and makes noise and takes up space and is done apologizing for herself. She told a story of how she was asked to do two songs, one political and one religious, and she had the realization that it wasn’t what she wanted to do, that what she wanted was to sing about love, that she was committed to that message. Her concert wasn’t so much a performance as it was a conversation with someone who adores you, wants the best for you, tells you jokes, sings you battle cries and lullabies — encouraging and comforting you.

There were a few times the force of her voice gave me goosebumps, and other times she made me laugh or cry, (a couple of times I did both at the same time). When she was singing Body Love, which is part spoken poetry and part song, there were lines that caught me off guard. I’d heard it so many times before, but for some reason that night these stood out as if I was listening for the very first time. Then this morning, I pulled a tarot card and almost laughed when I saw the connection to those lines.

concentriccircles

Your sexiness is defined by concentric circles within your wood / It is wisdom / You are a goddamn tree stump with leaves sprouting out / Reborn. ~Mary Lambert, Body Love

What would I say to Mary Lambert if I could talk to her? You are amazing. I adore you. You make me laugh. I want to hang out and bake you cookies. Your voice is so powerful, so tender that sometimes it hurts to listen to it. I had to save myself, but you helped. You talked about how you didn’t become a teacher because you didn’t go to graduate school and earn a teaching degree, but you are a teacher, you have been my teacher. I needed to hear what you have to say, need to hear it again and again, feel so grateful that you are brave enough to say what you have to say, to offer it. Your lyrics, your honesty helped heal me. Because you are willing to go the way your heart is telling you to go, I can go there too, be all the way true to the call of my brilliant heart. Thank you. May you be peaceful. May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be free.