Category Archives: Mary Lambert

Something Good

1. Bat Dad videos. He makes me laugh.

2. In the presence of perfect love from Rachael Maddox.

3. Comedian Tig Notaro continues to laugh at cancer in new Sundance documentary. I can’t wait to see this, and the article says she’s also working on a memoir.

4. Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome, a new book from my favorite president.

5. Watch: Matthieu Ricard says altruism is the solution, a new TED Talk in which “Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard offers his simple solution to climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality. The problem, he says, is selfishness, and the solution is altruism. It’s a simple — even naïve — idea, but Ricard makes a compelling case that altruism is a real, effective solution.”

6. Cosby: ‘Trust Me.’ How many women need to say this happened to them?

7. Good stuff from Patti Digh: book stack tuesday : the art of asking and balance your power.

8. Good stuff on Medium: Voluntary Mindslaughter: How learning to “Just Sit” can get you through anything, and If Someone Has All Three of These Things, Hire Them, and Wake No More.

9. Plus-size model Tess Holliday busts out of stereotype.

10. Just watch how much the "ideal" body type has changed over 3,000 years.

11. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Why sometimes it’s so difficult to be a person, and The Drama Triangle, and The End of Martyrdom.

12. 18 Hilarious Notes To Robbers.

13. Why People Hate Tess Munster (And Other Happy Fat People), brilliance from The Militant Baker.

14. Good stuff from lists and letters: strong medicine and illness: things i have learned in its shadow, and the morning after, when light breaks through the window blinds.

15. Exploding Kittens is the most backed Kickstarter project ever. He asked for $10,000, and with 17 days remaining, he’s already gotten over 5 million.

16. Interview with Wild Mama Carrie Visintainer from Laura Resau. The writing cabin! *sigh*

19. It’s how the light gets in… from The Bloggess. They break our hearts, but we keep letting them in.

20. Teacher And His Students Recreate ‘Uptown Funk,’ Get An A+ In Breakin’ It Down.

21. Good stuff on Bored Panda: I Take Personal Portraits Of Dogs, Cats And Horses, and I Found This Adorable Puppy In An Abandoned Backyard And Brought Her Home, and Artist Spent One Year In The Woods Creating Surreal Sculptures From Organic Materials.

22. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

The peace that we’re looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.

23. A Calm, Open Walk Through a Dark & Tangled Mess from Laurie Wagner.

24. Cheap easy. Quality easy. And The Myth of Endurance. from Danielle LaPorte.

25. Doubt’s Foot In Logic’s Door: Thoughts On Anti-Vaxxer Attitude from Terrible Minds.

26. Wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut, (thanks for sharing, Anna),

Be soft.
Do not let this world make you hard.
Do not let the pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be
A beautiful place.

27. Wisdom from Joanna Macy, “You don’t need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough.”

28. Reflections on Overwhelm from Lisa Congdon.

29. Alice Gregory on Finding a Uniform, shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

30. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: “How to feel miserable as an artist,” and How to stay alive, and Interview with Unmistakable Creative.

31. Truthbomb #722 from Danielle LaPorte, “Joy is an indicator of deep wellness.”

32. Beautiful natural sculptures made by balancing rocks, shared on Chookooloonks’ This Was a Good Week list.

33. Raise your hand. Say yes. with Laura Simms. Thank you, Tiffany Han for interviewing some of my favorite people. It’s like you’ve created a podcast just for me.

34. 5 Counterintuitive Money Lessons from 2014 from Laura Simms.

35. The OTHER Reason People Binge-Eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

36. 25 Meaningful Things You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less from Be More With Less.

37. A Note from the Universe, “Look to what you’re afraid of, Jill, to learn where you can grow.”

38. Sweetness on Faith Tap: Little Girl Sings Old MacDonald’s Farm and Brother and Sister Sing Hero.

39. Colleen McCullough: we’ll celebrate a woman for anything, as long as it’s not her talent. This makes me sick to my stomach.

40. Is this NASA’s best ever official portrait? Coolest astronaut sneaks his dogs into photo shoot.

41. If My Body Could Speak from Kira Elliott. Take out the part about sugar, and my body could have written this.

42. Good stuff from this week’s Positively Present Picks: The Sketchbook Project and Today is not over yet from Alexandra Franzen.

43. Meditation Physically Changes Your Brain’s Gray Matter for the Better, Study Finds.

44. Anne Lamott on How We Endure and Find Meaning in a Crazy World on Brain Pickings.

45. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook, in which she says,

But Horrible Bonnie would say, Now you get to tell it, because then it will become medicine. Tell it, girl — that we evolve; that life is stunning, wild, gorgeous, weird, brutal, hilarious and full of grace. That our parents were a bit insane, and that healing from this is taking a little bit longer than we had hoped. Tell it.

46. 10 Powerful Ideas that Will Change the Way You Work from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

47. for the love of it on Chookooloonks.

48. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: What are you capable of giving? and Your life is a hot date. Show up.

49. Feed Your Soul from Geneen Roth.

50. On Being podcast, Brené Brown — The Courage to Be Vulnerable.

51. Day Jobs & Creative Entrepreneurship from Jamie Ridler.

52. Beijing life in a shipping container.

53. How I Learned to Love Shopping as a Plus-Size Woman with Mary Lambert.

54. Jimmy Fallon Has A Lip Sync Battle With Will Ferrell & Kevin Hart.

55. Evolution is Exhausting. But You Totally Got This. from Meg Worden.

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.