Category Archives: Kat McNally

Something Good

sidedoorcafe1. Wisdom from Debora Smail, “To make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” (Thanks to Karen for sharing).

2. The great PBS NewsHour work-life balance experiment.

3. Nina Simone’s Daughter Says New Documentary About Her Mother Gets It Right.

4. EXCLUSIVE: Bree Newsome Speaks For The First Time After Courageous Act of Civil Disobedience.

5. 5 Genius Gadgets From Japanese Bathrooms That Americans Should Borrow.

6. An Evangelical Pastor At His First Pride Parade.

7. I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.

8. I get food stamps, and I’m not ashamed — I’m angry.

9. Here Are 4 Ways to Navigate Whiteness and Feminism – Without Being a White Feminist (TM).

10. This Flow Chart That Destroys Religion’s Case Against Gay Marriage Is So Easy, Any Zealot Can Use It.

11. ‘Elder: A Mormon Love Story.’

12. Not a Civil Debate.

13. Keep It Simple Book Review on decor8.

14. Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours.

15. How Bestselling Author Austin Kleon Writes, Part One. Austin shared Part Two on his blog.

16. How #AskELJames totally backfired on the ‘Fifty Shades’ author.

17. Truthbomb #832 from Danielle LaPorte, “Your scars are someone else’s signs of hope.”

18. Growing up from Tara Sophia Mohr.

19. How a Devastating Diagnosis Taught me How to Really Live and How to Engage in Social Media without Losing Your Mind and The World is Waiting For You (put it on your to-do list) from Be More With Less.

20. Epilogue: Gussy’s Gone from Sara Seinberg. Because this, “And I lived.”

21. Noisli. “Improve focus and boost your productivity. Mix different sounds and create your perfect environment.”

22. “Spoken word artist Sarah Kay explores time and place in our premiere of #BriefButSpectacular – NewsHour’s new Facebook-first series that every Thursday morning brings you snippets of insight from today’s artists, leaders and thinkers.”

23. Eating Disorder Recovery Advocacy Is Usually Fatphobic – Here Are 4 Ways to Start Fixing That.

24. Good things worth funding: Scott Carver’s Bucket List Fund, and IF WE LEFT: A True Story Movie, and Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant, and Cosette & Henri – A Tale of Two Puppy Mill Dogs, and Robert Davis Memorial fund, and Journey to Heal.

25. This Tumblr Is Exposing Hollywood’s Problem With People Of Colour.

26. Accepting my Sensitivity Healed my Emotional Eating.

26. The Most Adorable and Awesome Sci-Fi Love Story Ever: The One-Minute Time Machine [Video]

27. Wisdom from Thomas Merton, (shared by Susan Piver), “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”

28. The Dalai Lama: A Model of Someone Who Has Lost A Lot.

29. Did This Woman Witness The Worst Date Ever?

30. The Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations, explained.

31. She Was Told She Shouldn’t Be Wearing A Bikini. Her Response? AMAZING!

32. FIFA is giving the U.S. $2 million for its World Cup win. It gave Germany $35 million in 2014.

33. Rashida Jones On Being Sex-Positive But Still Challenging The Porn Industry.

34. See the Photo That Inspired the Internet to Rally Around a Gay Youth. A ‘Humans of New York’ post generated a flood of positive messages, including one from Hillary Clinton.

35. There are 6 Scriptures about homosexuality in the Bible. Here’s what they really say. P.S. All references to homosexuality are in the Old Testament. Jesus never said one word about it, unless you count “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

36. How ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Misrepresents Women’s Federal Prison (And Why It Matters).

37. Hot and Bothered. Air conditioning isn’t bad for you or even (relatively) for the planet.

38. The art of storytelling, according to the founders of StoryCorps and Humans of New York.

39. The Aftermath Of Bill Cosby’s Admission? That’s Rape Culture.

40. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh, (a PDF).

41. Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses. I love tiny houses and the people who live in them, but this made me giggle.

42. Kitten Wasn’t Going To Survive … Until She Met Her Dog Mom.

43. Be a Great Ally to Fat Folks by Getting Neutral about Food.

44. This Adorable Girl Trying To Hula Hoop Failed So Hard She Won. I wish this video were so much longer.

45. It’s Still Me…Only Sadder.

46. David Letterman Goes Top 10 on Donald Trump.

47. The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New.

48. Anti-Courage, my old friend from Kirsten Akens.

49. Do you know what you are committing to? from Life is Limitless.

50. 25 Lessons When You’re Ready for a Simpler Life and 7 Things You Gain When You Let Go of Control from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

51. Revolt against the desk.

52. Good stuff shared by Alexandra Franzen: How I met the love of my life. (A true story about what happens when you say what is true.), and 14 Newsletters You Need in Your Inbox, and What to do when a friend is grieving — and you don’t know how to help, and How to get “back on track” with a goal when you’re backsliding, hard.

53. What If Schools Hired Dogs As Therapists? A school in San Diego uses a “facility dog” to offer children a kind of healing that humans sometimes cannot provide.

54. I, Racist.

55. 6 Things to Know About How to Get Out of Funk Town on Zen Habits.

56. Shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: What Is Privilege?, and Dad And Daughter Face Off In Epic Beatboxing Battle, If Male Actors Were Described The Way Female Actors Are, and Five beautiful things Danny Gregory saw today.

57. Before You Can Write a Book, You Have to Do THIS First…

58. Good stuff from {Peacefulinks #12}: Idea to Awesome: How Jennifer Louden Created Her Online “Life Navigation Course”, and Visual Thesaurus.

59. Found it, doing it: still me from Kat McNally.

60. New music: (shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list), Oh Wonder.

Reverb14: Day One

reverb14withtextThis is my third year doing Reverb. It’s a great way to reflect on the year that’s coming to a close, to contemplate what I’ve learned and experienced, and to begin to consider where I’d like to focus my time, energy, and effort in the new year. This year, I’ll be responding to prompts from Project Reverb and Reverb14, hosted by my soul sister Kat McNally.

Project Reverb Prompt: Where did you start 2014?

To respond to this prompt, I got out my journal, read the entry from 1-1-14, found myself literally where I started the year. I wrote that I felt sure a big shift was happening in my life. We were getting a new puppy and I was starting yoga teacher training, so for sure a change was coming. Sam was sick and we still didn’t know why.

I had spent the day before decluttering my office, a big project I’d committed to complete over the winter break, to start the new year with an environment that represented more accurately the practice I was doing there, to claim the space. “I couldn’t get rid of some things — letters from Chris [my brother] and mom, the sweater Grandma knit, the collection of nicknacks I’d always imagined in our mountain cabin that now could go in our beach house [the dreamed of second home], love notes from Eric, dog collars and puppy teeth, Little D [Dexter’s favorite toy], old picture prints and negatives, so many books.” Some things I still couldn’t let go of, but other things were easy to let go, “a box of my writing from graduate school, some even older writing, all bad, me trying but not knowing my own voice, spending more time selecting font for the titles.”

I had gone to my favorite yoga teacher Sarada’s New Years Eve class the night before. “We wrote on a piece of paper what we wanted to let go of and what we wanted to invite, and they would burn it later in a ceremonial fire. “I wrote I wanted to let go of anxiety, fear of suffering … I invited love and joy, ease.”

Reverb14 Prompt: What can you say right now with certainty?

I contemplated this prompt for a long time, because part of me wants to answer that there is nothing I know for sure. And yet, the more I thought about it, I could admit there were somethings I was certain about.

  • I want to be here, want to keep trying.
  • I am a writer — this is my path, who I am, who I always have been.
  • Starting is easier than I thought. I imagined all these obstacles, but all you really have to do is take one tiny step.
  • Transformation is harder than I thought. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially when you are working with habits and ways of being that are old, sticky and deep.
  • Becoming myself and being my own best friend is my most important work.
  • I am not in control. I assume I am responsible, that whatever is happening is my fault and I need to fix it, but that’s not always true.
  • Impermanence is real, change is constant. Learning to be okay with that brutal truth is crucial.
  • Numbing out doesn’t work.
  • Only I can save myself, but thankfully there’s lots of help and support available to me.
  • The more you practice being open, the more your heart breaks.
  • I generate my own suffering.
  • There’s a path that offers a way out of that suffering.
  • I can trust myself.
  • I am embodied boundlessness.
  • Living against cultural norms and expectation is difficult and at times painful.
  • You can’t save others, you can only love them.
  • I love to read almost more than I love to write.
  • You never stop missing someone you loved and lost. Never ever ever.
  • Laughter really is the best medicine.
  • I am allowed to rest, to feel what I feel.
  • I don’t need to apologize for or be afraid of who I am.

Something Good

1. Feast, the latest and best from the amazing Rachel Cole. I can’t wait.

2. Anne Lamott on Grief, Grace, and Gratitude on Brain Pickings.

3. Growing out my grey hair. This is not brave.

4. A million invisible threads from Andrea Scher.

5. Office Hours with Austin Kleon, and writing advice from Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose

6. Fun stuff I’m doing on the blog in December: December Reflections with Susannah Conway and Reverb14 with Kat McNally.

7. Wisdom from Virginia Woolf (by way of Positively Present Picks),

It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

8. Overwhelmed & Rushed? Do a Stress Assess from Zen Habits, (also by way of Positively Present Picks).

9. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: How Highly Sensitive People Can Learn To Be Vulnerable, and Roasted Cabbage & Cauliflower Salad With Peanut Dressing, and Why You Can Be A Feminist & Still Struggle With An Eating Disorder.

10. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Are you allowed to exist?, and Be careful of your families!, and Why aim so small?

11. Hands, Soul, and the Crack in Everything from Guinevere Gets Sober.

12. Men And Women Were Asked Why They Really Divorced. Here’s What They Said from Huffington Post.

13. South American Stray Follows Extreme Racing Team and Wins Forever Home in Sweden.

14. Infographic: This Is More Or Less How Every Kind Of TV Show Plays Out.

15. My American Han.

16. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Self-Care for the Highly Sensitive Person, and Why I want to Delete Half of my Facebook Friends during a National Crisis.

17. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

Emotional eating is an attempt to avoid the absence (of love, comfort, knowing what to do) when we find ourselves in the desert of a particular moment, feeling, situation. In the process of resisting the emptiness, in the act of turning away from our feelings, of trying and trying again to lose the same twenty, fifty, eighty pounds, we ignore what could utterly transform us. But when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we evoke that in us that is not a story, not caught in the past, not some old image of ourselves. We evoke divinity itself. And in doing so, we can hold emptiness, old hurts, fear in our cupped hands and behold our missing hearts.

18. How to be Ultra Spiritual (funny) – with JP Sears.

19. This Housekeeper Is In For A Surprise Once She Finds Out Whose House She Is Cleaning. This is why I would want to be super rich, so I could do this for people.

20. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

In yoga, we often study the obstacle vs. seeking a goal. So, if we want to understand gratitude and generosity, we must also be willing to look at what prevents us from being either.

21. Box Of Love Letters Reveals Grandfather Didn’t Escape WWII With ‘Everyone’ from NPR.

22. How to improve your gut health from Kris Carr.

23. Wisdom from Prince Ea,

People waiting on God to come back and fix the world. Truth is, God’s not coming back. God never left; he exists inside of every cell in your body. Only thing stopping you from realizing this … is the person you think you are.

24. On The Subject Of Cultivating Empathy on Terrible Minds.

25. Two new blog posts from Christina Rosalie, Patience is the destination and Say yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found.

26. nowhere to hide from Sas Petherick.

27. Wisdom from Jack Gilbert, “It is no surprise that danger and suffering surround us. What astonishes is the singing.”

28. The Holy Yes from Meghan Genge.

29. free your shooting star from Marc Johns.

30. Wisdom from Seth Godin: Stumbling your way to greatness, and The problem with problems, and The fear of freedom.

31. Truthbomb #677 from Danielle LaPorte, “Do you need to work that hard?” And Truthbomb #678, “Your freedom is good for all of us.”

32. Five ways to be more lucky in life from Life is Limitless.

33. Note from the Universe,

If you had chosen an easier path and been born knowing how beautiful, deserving, and important you truly are, Jill, by this time you’d probably be worth billions of dollars, have millions of friends, and own businesses around the world. But then… you wouldn’t be exactly who you now are. All in favor of keeping the Jill we know and love? It’s unanimous. Try it.

34. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel,

For years I was tethered there, believing my own voice when it repeated the refrain… be good be good be good.

That goodness meant being silent. It meant shaming my body. It meant ridicule, perfectionism, and strict guidelines. It meant softening myself, caging myself, making myself palatable. It meant rereading the status update seventeen thousand times, to make sure that it was as in offensive as possible. That goodness meant carefully curating my outward presentation to please others instead of curating the way that I want live when I am alone.

35. Good stuff from Be More With Less, Gratitude for 7 Things that are not on Sale and Tis the Season for More Joy & Less Clutter.

36. This Artist Spent 10 Years Carving A Giant Cave – Alone With His Dog on Bored Panda.

37. On Medium, 5 Things About Writing I Wish I’d Known 20 Years Ago and 5 Things About Writing I Wish I’d Known 20 Years Ago (Part 2).

38. Wisdom from Jamie Ridler, “I emptied a drawer thinking I was clearing out old clothes and realized I was coming face-to-face with my life and how it’s changed.”

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.

Something Good

ericaspens05

image by Eric

1. Stop Fighting Food by Isabel Foxen Duke.

2. Unfiltered thoughts on a Sunday morning from Paul Jarvis.

3. Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project, because this, Who would you be without that thought?, and especially this, On 9/11…and 9/12.

4. 22 Harsh Truths that Will Jolt You Awake from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

5. Truthbomb #628 from Danielle LaPorte, “Blessing. Curse. It’s your call.”

6. 5 Tips for Butchering Your Life (So You Can Finally Live) on Elephant Journal.

7. IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Wrote An Article About Marriage, And All Anyone Noticed Is That I’m Fat on xojane.

8. Good stuff from Huffington Post: And So There Must Come an End, and A Dog’s Advice to Humans in Photos, and 15 Incredibly Talented Tattoo Artists You Should Follow On Instagram Right Now.

9. Yoga Journal’s “Body Issue” Rebranding: Encouraging, Disturbing, Contradictory by Carol Horton.

10. Funny stuff from McSweeney’s: A Generic College Paper, and So You Want to Get Into an MFA Program: A Decision Tree, and From The Complete Guide to the Care and Training of the Writer in Your Life.

11. Janine’s Story of Hope and Healing. Sometimes, we need a ritual, a ceremony to mark the letting go.

12. 20 Free Essays & Stories by David Sedaris: A Sampling of His Inimitable Humor from Open Culture.

13. Navigate Your Life: Sarah Selecky from Jennifer Louden. Such a great series.

14. Be stubborn from Sarah Selecky.

15. Words for the Day :: No. 41 from Lisa Congdon.

16. True Stories Series: Meet Andrea Scher from Laurie Wagner.

17. Postcards for Ants: A 365-Day Miniature Painting Project by Lorraine Loots on Colossal.

18. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Integrity, and Your Fear is Boring.

19. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Writer Creates “Color Thesaurus” To Help You Correctly Name Any Color Imaginable, and Illustrator Creates Doodles That Interact With Their Surroundings, and Dog Owner Creates Fun Illustrations With His Bull Terrier.

20. The Mind and the Heart from Jack Kornfield.

21. Wisdom from Paolo Coelho,

Have courage. Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. Follow those dreams, because only a person who is not ashamed can manifest the glory of God. There is no sin but the lack of love. Have courage, be capable of loving, even if love appears to be a treacherous and terrible thing. Be happy in love. Be joyful in victory. Follow the dictates of your heart. Meet obligations in life. But obligations never prevented anyone from following their dreams.

22. It’s Like They Know Us: “Relax on your pristine white couch and enjoy these realistic depictions of motherhood.”

23. Good stuff on Be More With Less: Declutter and Downsize to Create a Life with Room for What Matters Most and What to Consider When Sharing Your Life on the Internet.

24. Good stuff on MindBodyGreen: Vegan Coconut Bliss Balls That Will Wow Your Taste Buds, and An Open Letter To Anyone Thinking About Trying Yoga, and Is Your Heart Chakra Blocked? Here’s How To Open It.

25. Here’s What Happens When You Give Play-Doh To A Bunch Of Adults on BuzzFeed.

26. Singing together: Lifting one another up on Visible and Real.

27. Watch As A Straight Man Tears Up At The Answers To His Question: Is Being Gay A Choice?

28. Alan Watts discusses Nothing. (Thanks for sharing, Mark).

29. A NYC Bartender’s Powerful Open Letter To The Hedge Funder Who Allegedly Grabbed Her Ass.

30. Control, Letting Go, and Finding Ease from Ishita Gupta.

31. Raise your hand. Say yes. (the podcast is here!) from Tiffany Han.

32. Good stuff on Create as Folk: A Heartbreaking Simple Truth (and what to do about it) and Purpose Profile: Super Love Tees.

33. To the humans wondering why I’m always late on Renegade Mothering.

34. Life, Legacy and the Final Episode of GLP TV???

35. Buddha Statue Brings Peace to Oakland Neighborhood.

36. 25 Famous Women on Childlessness.

37. Two elements of an apology from Seth Godin.

38. 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose from Mark Manson.

39. The Magic of Mandalas Blog Hop from Andrea Schroeder.

40. Fall Equinox Brings Kali and the Burning of the Old Self on Rebelle Society.

41. Dancers Follow A 2-Year-Old’s Dance Routine. (Thanks for sharing, Susan).

42. The happiest baby wombat in the world.

43. Wisdom from Mary Oliver,

The Writer’s Almanac once asked me, “What does loving the world mean to you?” Loving the world means giving it attention, which draws one to devotion, which means one is concerned with its condition, how it is being treated. I still believe that’s true.

44. Wisdom from Rilke,

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

45. Wisdom from Anita Krizzan,

When you just sit in silence
the wind blows through you,
the sun shines in you
and you realise you are not your body,
you are everything.

46. Almost there from Kat McNally.

47. Everything is changing for us (& how it could change for you too) on Writing Our Way Home.

48. Why Absolutely Nothing is Wrong With Your Highly Sensitive Personality on Medium.

49. Wisdom from Erica Jong, “The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk more.” (Shared by Positively Present).

50. How To Love Yourself (and sometimes other people) – Podcast Episode No. 50, a dharma talk by Lodro Rinzler.

#AugustMoon14: Set an Intention

August Moon bigMy kindred Kat is hosting August Moon, “a reflective writing challenge that creates space for you to reflect on the things that have led you here and consider ways to manifest a truly magnificent send-off for the year.” I love that she’s doing this, that I can pair it with Susannah’s August Break. As someone who has the summer off, works at a university, August is a time of transition rich with energy, ripe with opportunity and obstacles. These blogging challenges help me to focus my energy, cultivate clarity, remember to balance my effort with ease.

Today’s prompt from Kat is: set an intention.  In her email, she described it this way, “I invite you to share what is it that you want to explore over the next two weeks. In particular, I invite you to consider the crossroads at which you find yourself, in any aspect of your life.” When I was contemplating the prompt this morning, I was considering focusing on the obstacles facing me, the ways that I am stuck. Then I decided to pull a card from my Wild Unknown tarot deck to see if that might offer some clarity, suggest a focus. As I shuffled the cards, I thought about Kat’s prompt. I pulled the most beautiful, perfect card: Six of Wands.

sixofwandsVictory, success, rising up. This card shifted the way I was thinking about Kat’s prompt. The six of wands suggests, “The obstacles have been relentless, but now is not the time to look back upon them. The more pressing question is: where will you go with your new set of wings?”

Holy wow…

The cards I’ve been pulling since we got back from a month in Oregon have all had a similar message. That I’m entering a new phase of life, a time of bliss, harmony, peace, wishes come true. That I should move on, lift my eyes to the horizon, direct myself forward. They’ve warned of remaining stuck, lost, confused, that staying in the past will only cause suffering. They suggest that I bring calm and focus to my mind, open myself up to joy.

So I suppose that’s my answer. Don’t rehash the obstacles or ways in which I’m stuck in old patterns and ways of being, but rather explore what I want my life to look like, how I want to feel, what I’m hungry for, what I have to offer. Things are going to be amazing, you are HERE, move forward.

That’s my intention then, to consider the question, “where will you go with your new set of wings?”

Something Good

1. Stand Up For Burg! a gofundme campaign to help one of the best people, Amy McCracken, help her dog, the amazing Cheeseburger, get the surgery he needs to be able to get around, to ease his pain. If you want to read about the beginning of their love story, here’s what Amy wrote about the night they met. The love between a girl and her dog is a beautiful thing, (I should know), and the way that love can heal us is priceless.

burg

The Burg, (picture from the campaign page).

2. Good stuff from Seth Godin: Finding your peer group, and The artist who dances on the edge, and How will you choose your next project?

3. August Break, a 31 day photo challenge hosted by Susannah Conway. I’ve done this the past few years and it’s quite fun.

4. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, on letting go.

What are you willing to let go of today? Life is so much about knowing what to hold on to, and what to let go of — and having faith that it will all work out in the end.

Your heart and your gut know exactly what you need to let go of, even if your brain is giving you all sorts of reasons to clamp your fingers around it. There are seasons and times to have different things, relationships and situations in your life, and then the seasons change and it’s time to let go of many of those things. Change is hard, but change is absolutely necessary.

We’ve all got to let go of old habits, old situations, old behaviors and sometimes even old relationships to make room for what is meant for the next part of our lives. If we just get quiet, get brave, and listen very closely, our hearts will tell us what to let go of. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. It just means that it is what is meant for now.

You can do this. Listen to your heart. Be brave.

5. Memories Do Not Burn from Smashed Picket Fences, (originally shared by Tammy in her Happy Links list).

6. Good stuff on Medium: The power of your writing: why you should write even if you think nobody is reading, and Call me a quitter: Just ask Vince Lombardi, and How a password changed my life, and Why I’m so negative about positivity, and 10 Things No One Tells Women about Turning 40 (thanks for sharing this last one, Lindsey).

7. Maya Stein’s 10-line Tuesday, because of this, and lines like this, “You need more light, not less,” and poems like this:

orientation
Just east of certainty. A little south of courage. A hair’s
width from ease. Clicks away from ready. A turn
or two from acceptance. A shuffle from faith. A set of stairs
from achievement. A riverbed from happiness. A handspan from
peace. A wink away from freedom. A few lines until the poem’s
done. A highway, a night’s sleep, a phone call, a touch, a rotation
of gears away from that certain yes that tells you where you are is
exactly where you need to be. I know, the signs can look as if they’re missing,
and the map so distant and unclear.
But I’m telling you, you aren’t lost. You’re never lost. You’re always here.

8. Mara Glatzel on delight, and more wisdom from yet another of her newsletters, (seriously, why haven’t you signed up for it yet?),

As women, we have a tendency to shrink. As a woman who spent many, many years believing that I had to apologize for my body or my intelligence or my wild spirit, the impulse is still alive and well, living in my muscle memory.

But, so is the restlessness of personal choice and self-responsiblity, of granting myself the permission to be exactly who I am, no matter what the circumstance.

9. A righteous conclusion about easing up on righteousness… from Danielle LaPorte.

10. don’t forget to eat (and knit) and cousin love from SouleMama.

11. Shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend list: Small Buddha Head Planter on Etsy and the oon power outlet.

12. Good stuff from Create as Folk: 23 Things You Didn’t Know About My Career and Create as Folk is Seeking Monthly Contributors.

13. Good stuff (as always) from Courtney Carver (author of Be More with Less): The Answer is Less, and Vulnerability is the Core of our Connection, and How to Create Heart Space (and why it’s a big deal), and The Tiny Guide to Parke Diem.

14. Wisdom from Zen Habits: The Painful Beauty of Impermanence and How to Change Other People.

15. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Recently, in a friend’s kitchen I saw on the wall a quotation from one of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s talks, which said: “Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior can make a proper cup of tea.”

I was struck by it because when I read it I realized that I myself have some kind of preference for stillness. The notion of holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart rang true, but I realized I didn’t do that; at least, I had a definite preference for the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. My reference point was always to be awake and to live fully, to remember the Great Eastern Sun—the quality of being continually awake. But what about holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart at the same time?

The quotation really made an impression on me. It was completely true: if you can live with the sadness of human life (what Rinpoche often called the tender heart or genuine heart of sadness), if you can be willing to feel fully and acknowledge continually your own sadness and the sadness of life, but at the same time not be drowned in it, because you also remember the vision and power of the Great Eastern Sun, you experience balance and completeness, joining heaven and earth, joining vision and practicality.

16. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 20 Habits Happy People Have (But Never Talk About) and 12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans.

17. Good stuff on Chookooloonks: forty-seven and how to live a perfect life in three easy steps, (which might just be one of the most important blog posts of all time).

18. Wisdom from Ann Patchett, “Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”

19. We from Rachel Cole, (also might just be one of the most important blog posts of all time — two on one list!).

20. Vegan Blogger’s Unusual Eating Disorder Shocks Followers.

21. Colbie Caillat – Try. Thank goodness, cause I stop trying a long time ago.

22. Writers at Work, shared by Austin Kleon.

23. Vivid Foods, “joy in a jar.”

24. You Say “Flawed”, He Says “Sexy”: What Men Really Think About Your Body from My Tiny Secrets.

25. Beautiful floral art, shared by The Cool Hunter: Flower Paintings by Thomas Darnell (the peonies! *swoon*) and amazing hanging installations from Rebecca Louise Law.

26. Note from the Universe, “The greatest perk, among countless others, Jill, that comes from loving someone right now, just exactly as they are, instead of waiting for them to change, is that you get to love someone right now.”

27. The truth behind the tweet from Kat McNally.

28. Keep Coming Back on 27 Powers, just one of the 27,000 reasons I will sometimes spontaneously text Laurie to tell her how much I adore her.

29. positive choices: lessons from 4 years of sobriety from Positively Present. And shared on her Positively Present Picks list, An epic guide to developing self-awareness: how to improve your leadership skills by understanding yourself.

30. A recipe for Blueberry Hand Pies, shared in this sweet post by Biscuits and Bobbins.

31. A message about miracles from Brave Girls Club,

Take some time today to see the miracles that have unfolded in your life.

If there was a time when you thought you could not make it ONE more day, and you did — that was an enormous blessing and a grand miracle created just for you.

If there was a time that you thought your heart might just break, and that you would never be the same, but you made it — that was a beautiful miracle of love just for you.

If there was a time you never thought thatyou would reach the goal you had worked so hard for, and you finally did — recognize the miracle inside of that experience.

We never walk alone. Miracles are unfolding every minute of our lives — miracles meant for our joy and for beauty and heart-peace. Take them for what they are meant to be and enjoy your life. Know that the miracles will not stop happening, that you are never alone on your journey.

The miracles are there…reminding you that you are loved.

32. This Human of New York, on Brittnay, Herself, (also a contender for one of the most important blog posts of all time, which if you are keeping score is three in this list!).

33. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving My 185 Pound Body on Huffington Post.

34. Relax, a beautiful poem by by Ellen Bass,

Bad things are going to happen.
Your tomatoes will grow a fungus
and your cat will get run over.
Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream
melting in the car and throw
your blue cashmere sweater in the drier.
Your husband will sleep
with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling
out of her blouse. Or your wife
will remember she’s a lesbian
and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat–
the one you never really liked–will contract a disease
that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth
every four hours. Your parents will die.
No matter how many vitamins you take,
how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys,
your hair and your memory. If your daughter
doesn’t plug her heart
into every live socket she passes,
you’ll come home to find your son has emptied
the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb,
and called the used appliance store for a pick up–drug money.
There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger.
When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs half way down. But there’s also a tiger below.
And two mice–one white, one black–scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.
She looks up, down, at the mice.
Then she eats the strawberry.
So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely.
Oh taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.

35. Kacy Catanzaro at the 2014 Dallas Finals | American Ninja Warrior.

36. Even Cancer Couldn’t Keep Me from WDS: 12 Lessons from the 2014 World Domination Summit from Zen Psychiatry.

37. No wedding, no problem: 4-yr-old turns flower girl dreams into a reality.

38. Wisdom from Susan Piver, one of the wisest, most compassionate humans I know,

There is so much to be sad about in this world. Because it is so uncomfortable, we immediately want to turn sadness into what we imagine will hurt less: anger, hopelessness, helplessness. When the wish to help is rooted in anger, it will only create more confusion. And of course, when we feel hopeless or helpless, we take refuge in non-action, which also creates confusion. When we allow sadness, action arises from love.

Be brave. Be sad.

39. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, “Relentless attempts to be thin take you father away from what could end your suffering: getting back in touch with who you really are.”

40. One last piece of wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts.

Is it time to simplify? Is it time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you, and let the rest go so that . . . you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things . . . instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place?

Your heart knows when it’s time, and you will have the strength to do it. And best of all you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy.

It may not look like the most glamorous life, but it is one filled with joy, peace and harmony . . . one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion . . . one where worries are few and where long meaningful conversations are many . . . one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there.

Simplify today, one little thing at time. You can do it. You are loved.