Category Archives: Lisa Field-Elliot

Something Good

1. Wisdom from The Zen of an Aching Heart by Jack Kornfield,

Sometimes suffering the losses and the unexpected betrayals and break-ups that befall each of us becomes the places where we grow deepest in our capacity to lead an authentic and free life. Often by working our way through our difficulties, our ability to love and feel compassion for ourselves and others deepens, along with the wisdom that will help us through similar problems in the future. And learning how to survive our present difficulties is one of the few things that will help us to know the right things to say and do when others whom we love suffer as well.

2. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, The Most Important Words of My Life and Don’t Live Somebody Else’s Dream.

3. Why I Will Never Use Microsoft Word Again by Jeff Goins.

4. Real Love Is a Choice on Huffington Post.

5. Simplicity is Not a Destination from Be More With Less.

6. Healing for the Inner Good Girl from Mara Glatzel.

7. Wisdom from Anna Guest-Jelley‘s newsletter,

I’ve recently been reading The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be by Mark Nepo…I wanted to share with you one of the gems from the book that I’m continuing to carry in my heart: “No matter how hard we work, the aim and purpose of practice is not to be done with it, but to immerse ourselves so completely in life by any means that we for the moment, are life itself living. Excellence, if we achieve it, is a welcome by-product of complete immersion. But the reward for practice is a thoroughness of being.”

8. How to train for your writing marathon from Sarah Selecky.

9. My Sweet Lil Fifties Rig, Reborn! from Laura Resau.

10. Raising Geeks from Brittany, Herself.

11. This Humans of New York post, “Before medical school I was really into music.” He has the most beautiful voice, like make you want to cry beautiful.

12. “When I Meander, I Discover”: A Q & A with Dani Shapiro.

13. This Is the Human Behind “Humans of New York.”

14. 22 Perfect Ways To Respond To A Text From Your Ex from BuzzFeed.

15. Wisdom from Mark Van Doren, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

16. Why I Put Down That Green Smoothie on Elephant Journal.

17. 3 Buddhist Beliefs That Will Rock Your World (And Make You Much Happier!) on MindBodyGreen.

18. Letters to the Living No. 5: On Gentleness, Wrestling with a Wounded Angel.

19. 9 Year-Old Spanish Boy Becomes Young Wildlife Photographer Of The Year on Bored Panda.

20. Natty Valencia Fixes Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.”

21. Wisdom from John Muir, (by way of Jessica Patterson), “Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.”

22. Brittany Maynard, 29-Year-Old With Terminal Cancer, Explains Why She’s Delaying Ending Her Life. And sadly, just a few days after I watched the latest video, this: Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life.

23. This Upsetting Video Shows One Woman’s Street Harassment In A Single Day, and the parody video, This Is What Walking In New York City As A White Man Looks Like, both on BuzzFeed.

24. Beautiful, brutal wisdom from Isabel Abbott, remember and release: a list of love and letting go and Where Memories Dwell.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word that means “noble or awakened heart.” …It is equated, in part, with our ability to love. It is said that in difficult times, it is only bodhichitta that heals. When inspiration has become hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself.

26. A Life Enchanted.

27. Gathering my selves from Susannah Conway.

28. 30 Days To Better Hand-Lettering E-Course, shared on Positively Present Picks.

29. This quote about how being an artist is different from being “a lawyer, scholar, mechanist, typist, scientist, production assistant, or what-have-you.”

30. Pen & Ink, Tattoos & The Stories Behind Them on Medium.

31. all of me from Lisa Field-Elliot.

32. Carolyn’s Lovely, Freeing Eating Guide from Rachel Cole.

33. Maintenance: some notes from Jeff Oaks.

34. Not If, But When from Dani Shapiro.

35. Wisdom from David James Duncan,

If we feel the Unspeakable and then try to speak of what we felt, we sound like fools. But if we feel the Unspeakable and don’t speak, we feel like ingrates. I’m inclined toward gratitude. So, foolishly, I speak.

36. what I think you should eat from seed & feather. I can’t agree more with this:

So what do I think people should eat? Here’s the list.
1. Enough.
2. What you need.
3. Whatever you want.

37. How To Exercise Out Of Self-Love And Not Due To Fat-Shaming. Amen.

38. Which reminds me of some of my favorite lines of poetry from Osho,

Don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Move the way love makes you move.
Move the way joy makes you move.

39. The 9 Most Overlooked Threats to a Marriage from Huffington Post.

40. Susan Piver talking about the four noble truths of relationships. So good.

Self-Compassion Saturday: Lisa Field-Elliot

I first discovered Lisa Field-Elliot’s blog and photography by way of Susannah Conway. I was instantly drawn in by her aesthetic, so beautiful, dreamy and deep, soft around the sharpest edges, elegant but raw. Reading her blog posts is like being visited by an oracle in a dream or going on a vision quest, a healing ritual, magic and medicine, a gentle and complete surrender to wisdom and grace delivered with such compassion.

Her vision is poetic but brave, facing the truth directly, going deep. She is “a witness, narrator, liaison, photographer, interpreter, whittler, language-miner, image facilitator, poet, and ally.” My regard for her only grew knowing she had a dog, loved and lost him, and then courageously entered into that relationship again with another beast destined to break her heart. I am so happy to share her perspective on self-compassion with you today.

lisa1. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

I believe self-compassion to mean truly honoring, and allowing for, our own suffering. To be with the hurts, the uncomfortable, the longings and the hungers, and to offer value and substance to these experiences. More than that, to go further and to respond, in kind, to what the self is really wanting and needing. To ask, and then to answer, without any payment in the form of shame or greed, guilt or assumed indulgence.

I believe this to mean allowing for the unpredictable nature of being human. It means being kind. It means allowing for plans to change, for the mountains to call, and for rest and retreat to be taken freely. It means beholding beauty as our birthright and our longings as legitimate. It means loving the self as much, or more, than the other.

fogandhill2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

For me, the embodiment of self-compassion has come through a lifetime of self-discovery, and validation from those that have come before. I was born porous and open, and with that constitution, came a sensitivity to simply living. When we struggle inside, we seek to know the way through.  Along the way, I found the paths of yoga and Buddhism provided vivid maps and frameworks for what it means to be compassionate and to value self-care and inquiry.  Teachers have shown up throughout my life in women’s groups and retreats, spiritual circles and in friendships. Poets like Kahil Gibran, Mary Oliver, Hafiz, Rumi and Ghalib have lit my path. Writers and healers like Tara Brach, Elizabeth Lesser, Pema Chödrön, and Martha Beck have made tremendous offerings toward my understanding, and valuing, of loving care for myself.

Mothering has, perhaps, had the greatest influence on my experience of self-compassion.  The sheer abundance of responsibility implicit in the raising of children has brought me to my knees over and over again, pushed me to the edge of understanding my capacity to love and to lead, and simultaneously depleted and overflowed my reserves again and again. I had to learn to trust and care for myself, to model what it means to listen to my body, my heart, my instinct. Out of absolute necessity, mothering begs for self-compassion.

cupandsky3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

For me, self-compassion is an underlying theme in all that I do. I have had to learn to listen to my body’s requests for each day–for rest, for movement, for nutrition. Likewise, I have had to be tuned into my need for stimulus and inspiration, balanced with my need for silence and retreat, for nature and nurturing.

teaandfeather

So, what does this look like?  In short, it looks like flexibility. It looks like being willing to change plans if something doesn’t feel right. It looks like saying no to an opportunity if my body responds with a knot in my gut. It looks like taking the time to feed myself well, to exercise, to stare at walls when I am overwhelmed. It looks like PERMISSION to respond to whatever comes up inside of me, in the most gentle, kind, and loving way possible–as I would for my children, or anyone else that I love.

swim4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

I still struggle with the question of whether or not I am giving enough of myself to the world. I struggle with the days that my body clearly begs for respite, and I know that there will be disappointment on the other side of my choice to care for myself, and I must choose carefully what will create the greatest cost and benefit. I also struggle with adapting my longings for a quiet, rhythmic existence to the anything-but existence of life in a family with active teenagers and a puppy! Sometimes, being compassionate is simply listening and acknowledging, even if the situation cannot be changed. It isn’t always doing, but rather allowing for what comes up–and this is what I am still learning.

lisa02I am so grateful to Lisa, for these responses, but also for being an example of feminine power, a particular blend of gentleness and courage, wisdom and compassion, soft but strong. To find out more about Lisa, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Marianne Elliott.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning. Or make your way through all the posts tagged Self-Compassion Saturday.