Category Archives: Karen Maezen Miller

Something Good

Glacier Peak, image by Eric

Glacier Peak, image by Eric

1. The Workhorse and the Butterfly: Ann Patchett on Writing and Why Self-Forgiveness Is the Most Important Ingredient of Great Art on Brain Pickings. This book is on my summer reading list.

If a person has never given writing a try, they assume that a brilliant idea is hard to come by. But really, even if it takes some digging, ideas are out there. Just open your eyes and look at the world. Writing the ideas down, it turns out, is the real trick.

2. 10 Things to Remember About Toxic Family Members from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

3. A’driane on Chookooloonks. When I get some time, I really want to dig around A’driane’s blog. She’s talking about things that are really important. Really important and heartbreaking on Chookooloonks is Karen’s post Enough. And finally, this from Karen posted on Medium is fucking brilliant, To My White Friends Who Struggle With What To Say.

4. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: Colorado Preschool Takes Candy From a Baby and I’m Too Sexy For This Prom?

5. Are you certain that you’re trapped? from Seth Godin. Oh, snap!

6. The “After” Myth.

7. Wisdom from Mandeq Ahmed, (shared by Meg),

There are two
types of tired,
I suppose one is a dire need of sleep
the other is a dire need of peace.

8. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Fashion (HBO).

9. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Love Is In Small Things and Photographer Arranges Foods In Beautiful Color Gradients That Will Soothe Your Soul.

10. Obama on the Baltimore Riots: It’s About Decades of Inequality.

This is not new. This has been going on for decades. And without making any excuses for criminal activities that take place in these communities, we also know if you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, where children are born into abject poverty, they’ve got parents, often because of substance abuse problems or incarceration or lack of education, and themselves can’t do right by their kids, if it’s more likely that those kids end up in jail or dead than that they go to college, and communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men, communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing’s been stripped away, and drugs have flooded the community and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a lot of folks, in those environments, if we think that we’re just going to send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there without, as a nation, and as a society saying what can we do to change those communities to help lift up those communities and give those kids opportunity, then we’re not going to solve this problem, and we’ll go through this same cycles of periodic conflicts between the police and communities, and the occasional riots in the streets and everybody will feign concern until it goes away and we just go about our business as usual.

11. Wisdom from René Descartes,

If you would be a real seeker after truth,
it is necessary that at least once in your life
you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

12. ‘Ain’t no way you can sit here and be silent.’

13. Wisdom from “The Other America,” a speech by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Grosse Pointe High School – March 14, 1968, (which except for a few of the details reads like it could have been written this March 14th),

I’m absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.

…we must still face the fact that our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nations winters of delay. As long as justice is postponed we always stand on the verge of these darker nights of social disruption. The question now, is whether America is prepared to do something massively, affirmatively and forthrightly about the great problem we face in the area of race and the problem which can bring the curtain of doom down on American civilization if it is not solved…

The first thing I would like to mention is that there must be a recognition on the part of everybody in this nation that America is still a racist country. Now however unpleasant that sounds, it is the truth. And we will never solve the problem of racism until there is a recognition of the fact that racism still stands at the center of so much of our nation and we must see racism for what it is…And we’ve got to see that this still exists in American society. And until it is removed, there will be people walking the streets of live and living in their humble dwellings feeling that they are nobody, feeling that they have no dignity and feeling that they are not respected. The first thing that must be on the agenda of our nation is to get rid of racism.

14. He shows how the news talks about black people by talking about white people instead.

15. This teen boy got Instagram famous because of his campaign encouraging teen boys to support their female classmates.

16. Louis C.K. On Life And Stand-Up: ‘I Live In Service For My Kids,’ a Fresh Air interview.

17. Welcome Everybody, “a grassroots, nationwide project to demonstrate our collective strength against the continued attacks on civil liberties around the nation.”

18. Racism is Real, a short film.

19. Bud Light Withdraws Slogan After It Draws Ire Online.

20. I don’t know shit about Baltimore on Renegade Mothering.

21. What If I Discover I’m Horrible at What I Want To Do? from Laura Simms.

22. Swarming Hummingbirds. I want this in my front yard.

23. Baby pulled from Nepal earthquake rubble after 22 hours.

24. when all else fails* from Karen Maezen Miller.

25. Our Witnessing Must Be Sustained.

It’s one of the most complex, urgent American stories being told. The cameras might stop rolling, but it won’t end anytime soon. Don’t let it. Keep reading. Keep watching. Keep listening. Keep looking for a way to be a part of the crowd with its hands on the moral arc, bending, bending, bending. However long it takes.

26. ‘Getting old ain’t for sissies’: Cartoonist Jack Ohman draws his dad’s final years.

27. Maybe Gluten is Not the Devil after all.

28. David Whyte Recites “The Journey.”

29. Reality check: ALL eating is “emotional” from Isabel Foxen Duke.

30. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

When things fall apart and we can’t get the pieces back together, when we lose something dear to us, when the whole thing is just not working and we don’t know what to do, this is the time when the natural warmth of tenderness, the warmth of empathy and kindness, are just waiting to be uncovered, just waiting to be embraced. This is our chance to come out of our self-protecting bubble and to realize that we are never alone. This is our chance to finally understand that wherever we go, everyone we meet is essentially just like us. Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us to a loving relationship with the world.

31. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Struggles With Suicides Among Its Young.

32. SLyme Disease: How A Speck Changed My Life Forever by Amy Tan.

33. One year of emptiness at the Krach Leadership Center.

34. Shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: go to the woods, find your original medicine and How to Write a Memoir: 6 Creative Ways to Tell a Powerful Story.

35. Shared in this week’s edition of Austin Kleon’s newsletter: Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, and
The Referendum, and David Letterman Reflects on 33 Years in Late-Night Television.

36. Freddie Gray’s death ruled a homicide and 6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death.

37. Bothered by Baltimore’s riots? Where have you been — for decades? and I’m white. I flew to Baltimore to protest. Here’s why.

38. Proof of Hope, “An honest depiction of the positive actions taking place in Baltimore, which have not yet been widely acknowledged.”

39. For the one who… from Isabel Faith Abbott.

40. Good stuff from Allowing Myself, a blog you should be reading: Energy All Over and On My Walk and On Being A Badass and, one of the most beautiful things ever written, Have Love, Will Travel.

41. Kristen Wiig plays Daenerys Targaryen—and it’s all we ever wanted, which made me laugh even though I’ve never watched Game of Thrones.

42. Yes, Unsubscribe From Netflix: These Small Steps Matter for Native Self-Esteem.

43. Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up, (shared on Positively Present Picks).

44. Good stuff from Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Emotional Intelligence: The Social Skills You Weren’t Taught in School, and How to find time to read, and Things That Scare Me.

45. A University Is Not Walmart.

46. Carol and Flora Bowley. What cancer looks like. What love looks like.

47. Health Experts Recommend Standing Up At Desk, Leaving Office, Never Coming Back. Funny, because it’s true.

Something Good

Image from this morning's walk. Spring in Colorado can be confusing...

Image from this morning’s walk. Spring in Colorado can be confusing…

1. Rearranged from Kat McNally. Like I told her, she’s half way around the world and the details of her daily life are so different, but ever since I discovered her, I’ve felt like she’s my mirror. And this, the idea of being “rearranged” feels so spot on. Dear Universe, I don’t care how you arrange it, but please let me be able to one day tell Kat to her sweet face how much I adore her. Love you. Love, Me.

2. 100 questions to inspire rapid self-discovery . . . . . . (and spark your next talk, date, blog post or book.) from Alexandra Franzen.

3. What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Yoga Teacher on MindBodyGreen.

4. Thoughts on HugDug and “Don’t do what I said, do what I meant” from Seth Godin.

5. Practice: Embodying Your Curvy + Beloved Body, a class taught by two of my favorite women: Anna Guest-Jelley and Vivienne McMaster.

6. This Rumi poem, shared by Christa Gallopoulos.

Water, stories, the body
all the things we do are mediums
that hide and show what is hidden.

Study them
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know
and then not.

7. Truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte, “You’re having an effect,” and “You’ll do it when you’re ready.” P.S. I love how I collect these to share with you and never see the connection between them until I copy and paste them into a post, see them together. It’s a weird sort of magic.

8. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

What do you believe would happen if you allowed yourself to feel your feelings instead of avoid them or swallow them with food?

Where in your body are your feelings located? What color are they? What texture? What shape? If you don’t know, take a wild guess. Assume you’re innately sane, extraordinarily wise, and your job is to ask questions. You don’t have to manufacture answers. They have been there all the time, sleeping under the brown grocery bag of your broken heart, but you haven’t looked.

Every time you feel stuck, every time you think you know why you are doing something, but you can’t seem to make yourself do it differently, write a dialogue with yourself.

Be open to the outcome. Assume nothing. Be ready for anything. You will be constantly surprised.

And this,

To discover what you really believe, pay attention to the way you act—and to what you do when things don’t go the way you think they should.

Pay attention to what you value. Pay attention to how and on what you spend your time. Your money. And pay attention to the way you eat.

You will quickly discover if you believe the world is a hostile place and if you need to be in control of the immediate universe for things to go smoothly. You will discover if you believe there is not enough to go around and if taking more than you need is necessary for survival. You will find out if you believe that being quiet is unbearable, if being alone means being lonely. If feeling your feelings means being destroyed. If being vulnerable is for sissies or if opening to love is a big mistake.

And you will discover how you use food to express each one of these core beliefs.

9. A poem from the Dalai Lama, “Never Give Up.”

No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up

10. Drawing Eyebrows on Babies Will Not Disappoint You on Don’t Poke the Bear.

11. The re-education of Sarah McLachlan.

12. 271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book on Colossal.

13. Ditch the Diet Rules: Listen to Your Body for Optimal Health on Greatist.

14. The World Can Be Better – Kid President Songified

15. I’m Sorry. I Can’t Read Your Blog Right Now on A Deeper Story.

16. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa,

The Buddhist approach is: Just do it, on the spot, rather than reliance on the great white hope that something just might happen, and therefore, we should push toward it. The Buddhist approach is not really based on hope. It’s based on just sitting and doing it on the spot. Then a person’s mind begins to take a turn more toward experience, rather than faith alone.

17. These 27 People Are All Awesomely Clever… And Maybe A Little Jerky. LOLOL. on Viral Nova.

18. A Living Worth Scraping on Elephant Journal. I always feel like articles like this need a disclaimer, or a post script that explains that while this is true, that it would be lovely if people did work they love, someone also has to clean up —  take out the trash, pick up the poop, clean the bathroom, change the diapers — and that we all need to pitch in and help keep things together, even when that sometimes requires we do things we don’t really “like.”

19. Good stuff on BuzzFeed: Look What Two Art Students Leave On A Classroom’s Chalkboard Every Week and The 100 Most Important Cat Pictures Of All Time.

20. “All Of Me” Gets A Vintage Soul Cover You’ll Listen To On Repeat on Huffington Posts. It’s a really good cover.

21. 4 Tips On Creativity From The Creator Of Calvin & Hobbes on Fast Company.

22. Wisdom from Harry Emerson Fosdick, “Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.”

23. Wisdom from Karen Maezen Miller on Facebook,

Once you hear the Dharma, it ruins you for non-Dharma.

And,

The problem is not that we are hurling ourselves into the unknown. We are always hurling ourselves into the unknown. The problem is that we think otherwise.

24. Susan Piver on compassion, “Compassion is the ability to hold both love and pain in your heart, simultaneously.”

25. On Being podcast: Joan Halifax — Compassion’s Edge States and Caring Better.

26. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel, “You are a worthy contender for the life that you are yearning for, but the only one who can truly grant you the permission to live it, is you.”

27. 30 Lessons from the ♥ Your Community Blog Tour on Yogipreneur.

28. When I am Among the Trees, a poem from Mary Oliver.

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.,/p>

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

29. What People Say When Asked To “Tell The World Anything” on Huffington Post. “The producers of a recent video series place a single camera in a public part of New York City — Washington Square Park, in this case — and hang a sign telling people to ‘Tell the World Anything.'”

30. 10 Things to Add to a Simple Life on Be More With Less.

31. Me & You, an animation from Story Corps.

32. Her Girlfriend Never Tells Her How Her Day Went. I Wouldn’t Either If This Was How My Days Ended., a beautiful and personal tribute to nurses on Upworthy.

33. Ten Steps for Creating a Personal Mandala on Elephant Journal.

34. Dallas Clayton Merchandise.

35. Anne Lamott on Mother’s Day.

36. Lessons from a Zen Garden by guest blogger Karen Maezen Miller on New World Library.

37. 28 Abandoned Structures Still As Vibrant As The Day They Were Deserted on Huffington Post.

38. Good stuff on Medium: The Gluten-Free God Is a False God and Finishing School: Why the hazing rituals of graduate school aren’t worth the trouble.

40. The whole Mother’s Day enchilada on Superhero Life.

41. Shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Meditation: Heart Advice from 3 Exceptional Women, and How to Become a Writer, and Blogger Pulls Off $30,000 Sting to Get Her Stolen Site Back.

42. Let Go of Shoulds and Stress and Let Yourself Do Nothing on Tiny Buddha. A Week of Being sounds wonderful…

43. Feel your life while you’re in it, a beautiful quote shared on A Design So Vast.

44. An Animated Ode to What a Dog Can Teach Us About the Meaning of Life on Brain Pickings.

45. Which reminds me of this, GoD And DoG by Wendy J Francisco.

46. Sales advice from the world’s crappiest salesperson (aka: me) from Paul Jarvis.

47. 5 Little Things That Make My Life A Million Times Better on Thought Catalog.

48. Who would you be if you didn’t hold back? from Ronna Detrick.

Something Good

1. Fall session of ZenPen, “Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth” from my dear friend Courtney Putnam starts September 30th.

2. Finding Freedom and Writing Memoirs with Meg Worden, an interview on BlogCast FM.

3. Funny stuff from Elephant Journal, Sorry about all the poop: The 10 Commandments of Your Dog and Conan O’Brien and Louis CK “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy.” And not so much funny as true, The Truth About Hitting Bottom.

4. An excerpt from The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel.

5. A Bunch Of Young Geniuses Just Made A Corrupt Corporation Freak Out Big Time. Time For Round Two. on Upworthy. Boulder certainly is one of my favorite things about Colorado, for reasons just like this.

6. 36 Surreal Instagram Images From Burning Man. I’m not hip enough to attend, and besides it would be too hot and there would be too many people for me, but I’m so glad that something like it exists.

7. Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? on Tiny Buddha, (and, the answer is “uh, yes!”). Also from Tiny Buddha, 10 Journaling Tips to Help You Heal, Grow and Thrive.

8. Honor the Signs Your Future Self is Sending You and Finding Your Creative Flow: 17 Writer’s Tricks to Get Un-stuck and Start Creating on Scoutie Girl.

9. A few thoughts & actions that will help you open up more and Money: A Love Story. Kate Northrup & I talk debt, cash, freedom. from Danielle LaPorte.

10. This post from 3x3x365, in which Patti Digh describes the very best reason to marry someone.

11. Brene’ Brown interview, Vulnerability and Shame, on How She Really Does It with Koren Motekaitis.

12. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, in her book Comfortable with Uncertainty,

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing 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. We cultivate bravery through making aspirations. We make the wish that all beings, including ourselves and those we dislike, be free of suffering and the root of suffering.

13. Wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh, “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

14. Wisdom from Atticus Finch,

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyways and you see through it no matter what.

15. Truth from Gloria Steinem, “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

16. Wisdom from Tara Brach,

When we identify with a small self, we are perceiving ourselves as a cluster of ocean waves, not recognizing that we are made of ocean. When we realize our true self is ocean, the familiar pattern of waves—our fears and defensiveness, our wants and busyness—remains a part of us, but it does not define us.

17. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

When you’re in transition, you walk in two worlds. You walk in the world in front of you, which may seem stark or burdened. Yet you also walk in the world you carry in your heart. You know you are blossoming & the fruit trees hang heavy, the sun shines, & the clients call, & money is not an issue. The life you are feeding is the life that becomes true.

18. 10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People from Fast Company.

19. 10Q, a really fun thing that Rachel Cole shared last week,

Answer one question per day in your own secret online 10Q space. Make your answers serious. Silly. Salacious. However you like. It’s your 10Q. When you’re finished, hit the magic button and your answers get sent to the secure online 10Q vault for safekeeping. One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection.

20. The Magic of Impermanence from Lisa Congdon.

21. Stop Chasing Success. Seek Significance. from Becoming Minimalist.

22. Interview with Jen Smith of LivingLegendary.org from Lisa Bonchek Adams.

23. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, and even more wisdom from Elizabeth.

24. 10 tips for a mindful home from Karen Maezen Miller.

25. Staying Awake from Jeff Oaks.

26. I Found A Blind Baby Sparrow Below My Balcony After A Storm from Bored Panda.

27. {this moment}, a beautiful end of summer image on SouleMama.

28. 8 Good Morning Questions that Create Happiness on Marc and Angel Hack Life.

29. What this internet addict learnt from three weeks offline from Satya on Writing Our Way Home.

30. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “It takes as long as it takes.”

31. My friend Sherry sent me this last week, a poem from Hafiz,

How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all its beauty? It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise, we will remain too frightened.

32. Wisdom from Geneen Roth’s latest newsletter,

…binge eating is not defined by the amount of food you eat but by the way you eat it. Two cookies can be a binge if you eat them with urgency, desperation, and the pressing need for an altered state. Food is a drug of choice, and when you binge, you are using your preferred substance to deny, swallow, or escape your feelings.

33. Whatever Happens Next, a beautiful and heartbreaking story of saying good-bye on Huffington Post from Judy Clement Wall.

34. I want to talk about Body Positivity, OK? from Mary Lambert.

35. Here Come the Good Movies: A dozen films opening before Thanksgiving are more than worth your time and money on Purple Clover.

36. Stop beating yourself up…It’s a WASTE of time! from Kute Blackson. I already shared this yesterday, but I really want to make sure you don’t miss it.

37. The Value of Suffering, an opinion piece by Pico Iyer on The New York Times, also something I already shared, but want to make sure you see it.

38. Shared in this week’s Positively Present Picks list: Custom Pet Stamp on Ebay and Do You Suffer from the “Easy to Buy, Hard to Use” Phenomenon? on Happiness Project.

39. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: It’s OK Not To Want It All from Amy Palko, Amelia the Airstream, a Vacation Home on Wheels on Design Sponge, and A poem a day from Austin Kleon. Bonus: Susannah shared two of my links!

40. Speaking of Susannah, How I Do It: An Interview with Susannah Conway (+ a Giveaway!) on In Spaces Between.

41. Wisdom from Kute Blackson, “Every feeling is a signal, which if you pay attention to will point you in the direction of something that you actually need to deal with, a part of you that needs loving compassion or needs to be released.”

42. 55 Quick Tips to Start Your Self-Care Practice from Anne-Sophie.