Category Archives: Note from the Universe

Something Good

Image from Unsplash

Image from Unsplash

So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Savor: Daily Practices for a More Nourishing Holiday from Rachel Cole. Savor is six weeks of guided audio meditations and journal prompts to support you in being well-fed and centered this holiday season. As Rachel describes it, “Savor is about finding yourself in the small moments. It’s about tasting what’s already here. It’s about noticing the good and saying ‘thank you’ often. Savor is designed to help you find sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle that’s headed our way. Savor is, no surprise, about savoring your life.” At only $35, this would make a great holiday gift, for yourself or anyone else on your list. Disclaimer: I first started working with Rachel almost four years ago. Since then she’s been a guide, a teacher, a precious friend. Everything she does is magic, and this is going to be no exception.

2. Random Acts of Kindness Generator. This is such a great idea. Doing something nice, either directly or in secret, is such a mood lifter for everyone involved. I can imagine a homemade version too, a jar with slips of paper filled with different ideas. Just pick one and do it.

3. Problems of output are problems of input from Austin Kleon.

4. An important question posed by Brave Girls Club, “What is calling to you? What is the deepest, most true message that is calling to you?”

5. A Note from the Universe,

It’s easy to look around at all the people who already have what you want, notice how they differ from you, and then think that they are the “kind of people” for whom having what you want comes naturally. Whereas you are not, otherwise you’d have it too.

Very rational thinking, and a super way for non-adventurers to avoid responsibility, rest on the sidelines, and watch more TV.

Adventurers, on the other hand, Jill, understand that they are exactly the kind of people who should have the things they now want. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be blessed with wanting them.

6. This is about the time I chose not to die.

7. If you accept your body, does that mean you give up?, a recent and brilliant newsletter from Curvy Yoga and Anna Guest-Jelley.

8. Parenthood Is An Act Of Hostage Negotiation With A Broken Robot from Terrible Minds.

9. This Guy’s Reaction To Patti LaBelle’s Pie Is Priceless. This guy understands pie like I do.

10. Wisdom from Hans Hofmann, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Oh, snap.

11. It’s going to be okay, a really great, important and timely comic from The Oatmeal. “So get up, and help someone.” Also this video, “Runner. Cartoonist. Cake Lover. – A Seeker Story,” the story of Matthew Inman, creator of TheOatmeal.com.

12. Raising Imogen, “koala joey’s most adorable home video of all time.” Who knew baby koala’s were so stupid cute?

13. This Kid Should Work For Hallmark Because His Thank You Letters Are Spot On.

14. Buddhism, Bravery, Love and the Good Life, Lodro Rinzler on Good Life Project Radio. Lodro is one of my favorite teachers, and I always love Johnathan’s interviews. Jonathan posted on Facebook, about this interview, “What if meditation didn’t solve anything, it just let you see things better?”

15. Wisdom from Judith Lief, “To meditate, all you need are 3 things: a restless body, a wandering mind, and out-of-control emotions.”

16. Awkwarding is what brings us all together from The Bloggess. These tweets are so awesome.

17. On What People Think from Dani Shapiro.

18. This 17-Year-Old Cat Is The Laziest Internet Star In Japan on Bored Panda.

19. Deciding How and When to Quit, a brilliant post from Jen Louden about the difference between default quitting and compassionate quitting, which includes a really great set of prompts to help one contemplate how to decide what to do. “But in the end, it comes down to this: You must be willing to look yourself in the mirror and ask, ‘Am I suffering enough to do something about it?’ or ‘Am I hungry enough for something more to take this risk?'”

20. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

We make a lot of mistakes. If you ask people whom you consider to be wise and courageous about their lives, you may find that they have hurt a lot of people and made a lot of mistakes, but that they used those occasions as opportunities to humble themselves and open their hearts. We don’t get wise by staying in a room with all the doors and windows closed.

20. Wisdom from Seth Godin, Certain failure and Your progress report.

21. How to make your website credible from Paul Jarvis.

22. #naphopomo day 10: do not let the adorable nose fool you on Chookooloonks. Oh Karen, I feel your pain/joy.

23. Five Days of Mandala Magic, from Julie Gibbons, “a free online workshop that demonstrates how, with a little know-how + some tools + techniques, you can create beautiful mandalas anytime you feel called – even if you’re not an accomplished artist!”

24. Is Fat Stigma Making Us Miserable? Spoiler alert: YES.

25. 16 Stunning Works Of Origami Art To Celebrate World Origami Day on Bored Panda.

26. Riverside 433 sq. ft. guest cottage is a roomy floating retreat. So dreamy.

27. 30 Simple Ways to Take Care of Yourself Over the Holidays from Be More With Less, a great list for any time of year, not just the holidays.

28. A Healthy Way to Aspire to a Better Life on Zen Habits. The title says it all.

29. money talks with Laurie Wagner. I love this column. I love Sherry, the lovely host. And you know I love Laurie.

30. Wisdom from Jonathan Fields, “Never allow the false urgency of others to dictate where and when you place your attention.”

31. In April 2013, Diana Kim spotted her father for the first time in decades. “He was living on the street, disheveled and unkempt, and didn’t have a clue who she was.”

32. The fallacy of ‘go big or go home’: redefining ambition from Esmé Wang.

33. Organizers seat woman behind Trump ‘because she’s black’ — so she silently protests by reading her book.

34. I Quit My Job To Be A Travel Writer, And Now I’m Broke And Unemployed. I think it’s so important to have these narratives to balance out the “do what you love and the money will come” ones.

35. Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep is Your Love (Cover) by Daniela Andrade x KRNFX. The only thing better than a good song is a good cover of that song, and Daniela just might be the queen of covers.

36. The Roar Sessions: Lindsey Mead.

37. 9 Ways Generous People View the World Differently from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

38. A Thanksgiving Reader, a new tradition, offered by Seth Godin.

39. Cultivating Wonder, “4 weeks full of lessons, prompts, interviews + secret missions to grow your sense of wonder” from Andrea Scher, pay what you can. It starts today, but you can still sign up. Again, a disclaimer: Andrea is the reason this blog exists, and I adore everything she does — guide, teacher, and precious friend.

40. Social Media isn’t the point. Storytelling is. “8 things you can (and should) do to become an effective storyteller for your brand” from Christina Rosalie.

Something Good

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

This is a very special Something Good list. Starting today, I am partnering with Wanderlust to share my list with a larger audience. Their tagline is “find your true north,” and they answer the question “what is Wanderlust?” this way,

a strong or irresistible desire to Travel • Practice Yoga • Listen to Music
Eat Well • Be Green • Appreciate Art
and create a community around mindful living.

I’ll still be publishing the full list here every Monday morning, but from now on there will also be a shorter, specially curated list posted on Wanderlust — a collection of my favorites from the longer list, links best suited to their audience and mission. If you clicked over from Wanderlust today, welcome! And if you are already one of my kind and gentle readers, welcome back!

1. 100 Poems – 100 Days, a new project from an amazing artist, (blogger, author, photographer, and painter), Christina Rosalie. She’s committed to writing 100 original poems in 100 days, posting a new one each day. Her latest painting is also brilliant.

2. Motivation < Action from Paul Jarvis, sent out in his Sunday Dispatches email. “Motivation, even for mundane things like exercise or writing more, is theoretical. Whereas action is tangible.” This piece is a great argument for taking one tiny step rather than making a big plan. He also posted a great piece on Medium, Master working for yourself without crushing your soul, which he summarizes this way,

People that really do well working for themselves don’t do it for the money fights on their private yachts or the standing ovations (on Facebook), they do it because they want to add value for others while leading life as they see fit.

3. I’m Too Old for This on The New Yorker. Author Dominique Browning considers a new mantra, “A goodbye to all that has done nothing but hold us back.”

4. Why I Got Rid of My Teacher’s Desk. I love this, but I had to admit all I keep thinking was “where are you going to keep your stuff?”

5. The Size We’re Supposed to Be from Dances with Fat. “It doesn’t matter what size someone is or why they are that size, it’s absolutely none of anybody else’s business, and everybody deserves to be treated with basic human respect.” Amen. Ragen also gives some good advice in another post, When Good Friends Post Bad Fat Jokes, advice that seems like it would be relevant to dealing with a whole host of offenses.

6. Paramedic’s angry Facebook post about “burger flippers” getting $15/hr goes viral.

7. Walking vs. Elliptical Machine, Redux. Which is better? Read this and find out, (sort of).

8. Which Character Strengths Are Most Predictive of Well-Being? Read the answer in this post on Scientific American. **Spoiler alert** “The single best predictor of well-being was gratitude.”

9. 28 of the best things I ever did — from my bedroom to my business, a list worth contemplating from Danielle LaPorte. What would be on your list?

10. CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret. I don’t CrossFit train because I’m afraid of the yelling and crashing of weights and loud music, because of all the noise, but this seems like another reason to take care.

11. Wisdom from PattyMara Gourley, “May my art be my medicine. May my medicine be my art.”

12. Help! I Have a Weird Relationship with Food, But Is It an Eating Disorder? An important discussion about an important issue on Everyday Feminism, which suggests, “And the problem is that we’ve standardized disordered eating to the point that we think it’s normal.”

13. Why Does Anyone Do Yoga, Anyway? on Psychology Today. “The health benefits are very real. But few understand how it affects the mind.”

14. Why diets don’t actually work, according to a researcher who has studied them for decades. I think I shared this when it first came out, but it’s definitely worth a repeat read.

15. Why Norway’s Prison System Is So Successful. **Spoiler alert** “The country relies on a concept called ‘restorative justice,’ which aims to repair the harm caused by crime rather than punish people. This system focuses on rehabilitating prisoners.”

16. A Prayer for Writers & Creatives from Jennifer Louden, a wonderful reworking of “metta” or lovingkindness practice. It makes me think of all the other ways we might use this practice, the other special, specific populations we could offer it to more directly.

17. Starving Is A Terrible Condition For Making Art from Terrible Minds. Chuck Wendig debunks the myth and gives some really great advice.

18. A whole bunch of wisdom from Seth Godin: The squeaky wheel problem (an issue certainly worth considering), and Make three lists (a great practice when starting a new project), and The other kinds of laziness (so important), and The illusion of control (oh, snap!).

19. Wisdom from a Note from the Universe, “Always listen to your doubts…Not just because they might teach you of your fears, but because, sometimes, they might teach you of your wisdom.”

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You have the right to stand up for yourself. If you are being hurt, abused, manipulated, bullied or diminished by someone else, you have the right to stop it. You can be kind, wish everyone the best, and do what you can to be helpful, but that doesn’t mean you should ever allow someone to chip away at you. You are way too important. You have the right to protect yourself.

We must never allow others to abuse us where we are weak. We must not let others determine our worth, ever. We must not allow our hearts to be abused, manipulated or exploited.

We can be kind, but this does not mean that we need to allow everyone to the closest parts of our souls. We must guard the gates to our hearts and recognize that it is a true honor for anyone to ever come close to the deepest parts of us, and this honor should be reserved for a select few who only want the best for us and who love us exactly as we are. You have a right to stand up for yourself. You have a right to walk away. You have a right to go where the peace is.

and this,

Did you know that one of the keys to a happy and peaceful life is to do your best to leave a mark of goodness wherever you go? Here’s a tip to big and little pieces of random and beautiful happiness:

-Whenever you can, if it is in your power, leave people, places, and situations better than you found them.

-Do your best when you are working, whether or not you are publicly rewarded for it (the best rewards are the internal ones, when you can feel so good deabout your work)

-Be kind and as generous as possible to others, whether or not they notice or appreciate it

-Make your surroundings more beautiful than you found them, whether or not it is your responsibility.

This is especially helpful and wonderful if your brain wants to do the opposite because you have been hurt by someone or something. It heals your whole soul if what your brain really wants to do is ‘stick it to’ someone, but YOU choose to joyfully give. The very best thing you can ever, ever do for your heart and your soul is to leave people, places, and situations better than you found them, even if those things did they best they could to leave you in a not-so-desirable position. YOU have the power to turn it all around and make it beautiful again.

20. 8 Ways to Get Ready for Your Wild and Precious Life on Be More With Less. Courtney is so good at distilling the truth down to the simplest seed. In this post, she ends with,

“While we can’t be certain about how our lives will unfold, when we decide to be mindful about how we spend our time, and the people we want to be, we have a shot at not only knowing the answer to this lovely question, but living it too.”

21. Good stuff from Allowing Myself: Do Your Work, in which Justine makes the distinction between her job and her work, and trust, where she tells the story of her new tattoo, “I contemplated it for so long, it’s like something snapped into place, like it’s always been there, it’s just now I can see it.”

22. Manifesto of the Brave & Brokenhearted: The Rising Strong Book Trailer from Brene’ Brown.

23. 3 Small Discipline Habits You Can Train from Zen Habits, great advice and a gentle approach to finding a little more discipline in our lives, “Three simple skills that can be turned into habits with repeated practice.”

24. in the garden, August 7 on SouleMama. Her garden updates are so dreamy. I want to go to there.

25. Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant, a repeat share, but there’s still a need, so much money left to raise. Andres just turned four last week, and I hope he gets much, much older, as well as healthy.

26. Don’t Fucking Touch Me. *sigh*

27. 40 Questions that Will Quiet Your Mind from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I don’t think this is the right title for this post. It should be “40 questions that will prompt a bunch of contemplation, thinking, and brain activity.” They’d be really great conversation starters or journal prompts.

28. Take Back Your Life, wisdom from Rachel Cole. “Your time, energy, and money are precious precious resources. They are the stuff that either makes or wastes a meaningful life.”

29. Awakening connections from Kirsten Akens. I finally got to meet Kirsten in person, when we attending the event she talks about in this post. It’s so great to see her getting clear about who she is, what she has to offer.

30. so, about that daring way workshop on Chookooloonks. Seriously, Karen and Brene’ are a super duo. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.

31. money talks with amy tingle on Mabel Magazine.

32. Good stuff shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: a gallery of Ebola survivors, and a rustic country retreat (I want to go to there), and Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence.

33. 5 Tweets That Sum Up Why People Are Upset About Stonewall, “why Stonewall misses the mark and why people are signing the GSA Network’s petition for a boycott of the film.”

34. Creative Man Builds a Feline Feeding Machine That Requires His Cat to Hunt for His Dinner. What a wonderful life this cat has.

35. Earth View: A Curated Selection of the Most Striking Satellite Images Found on Google Earth, an amazing set of pictures.

36. Artist Buys Billboard Advertising Time to Display Art Instead of Ads on Massachusetts Highways. “Created as a set of billboards along two Massachusetts highways, ‘Healing Tool’ is a temporary public art installation by artist Brian Kane produced to temporarily relieve stress and promote introspection during one’s monotonous daily commute.”

37. Why You Need To Try Japanese Forest Bathing. “Inspired by Buddhist and Shinto practices, forest bathing naturally engages you in non-directed attention and mindfulness meditation.”

38. Wisdom from Shunryu Suzuki, “The only way you can endure your pain is to let it be painful.”

39. How Long You Can Freeze Everything, In One Chart. As summer winds down and my garden stops producing and fruit season ends, this will help as I consider what I might save.

40. We Need to Talk About Amy Winehouse’s Eating Disorder and Its Role In Her Death.

41. New Suicide Hotline Dedicated to Trans People Now Open for Calls.

42. Seven-Year-Old Black Belt Is Breakout Star in Gender Equality Ad From ANZ.

43. Centuries-old bonsai that survived atomic bomb gets honored 70 years later.

44. What To Do When You See Someone Being Harassed. Really good advice on Medium.

45. 16 Graphs That Will Help You Understand Your Highly Sensitive Friends So Much Better.

46. My township calls my lawn ‘a nuisance.’ But I still refuse to mow it. “Manicured lawns are ruining the planet.”

47. The Enmity Remained: Negating the Possibility of Change by Sharon Salzberg. Her regular column at On Being is worth following. Because this,

I think it is true that in the reality of our lives some might wish to harm us. As wise human beings, we should try to avoid them or do anything we can do to null their power. I’ve heard of the Dalai Lama, for example, telling a friend with a mentally ill mother who had in the past tried to harm her to open her heart completely to her mother and offer her lovingkindness and compassion — but from a distance. That was a stunner. The Dalai Lama advising clear boundaries and self-protection? Well yes, but from a place of wisdom and compassion, rather than hatred and disdain. The wisdom and compassion provide their own powerful energy and give us strength to act.

Something Good

springsnoweric02

What Spring looks like in Colorado: flooding Poudre River, a little snow, and a lot of green (image by Eric)

Those

Those ropes are what kids use in the summer to swing themselves into the water, which is much lower (image by Eric)

1. A Note from the Universe,

Courageous is the soul, Jill, who adventures into time and space to learn of their divinity. For while they cannot lose, they can think they have, and the loss will seem intolerable. And while they cannot fail, they can think they have, and the pain will seem unbearable. And while they cannot ever be less than they truly are – powerful, eternal, and loved – they can think they are, and all hope will seem lost. And therein lies their test. A test of perceptions: of what to focus on, of what to believe in, in spite of appearances.

2. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen, How to cleanse your calendar & life: part one [the easy part] and How to cleanse your calendar & life: part two [the hard part], which she introduced in her newsletter this way,

Socrates had it right. Being “busy” may provide a temporary hit of fulfillment, but when your life is choked up with commitments that don’t feel meaningful or energizing, that’s a pretty barren existence. It is difficult, if not impossible, to evolve into the person you want to be when you are so busy and burdened that you can barely breathe.

3. Meditating on Love – a Daily Dharma Gathering event, which happened live yesterday, but the video is available to watch for the next seven days — Susan Piver, Lodro Rinzler, Sokuzan and angel Kyodo williams in a special 4 hour retreat.

4. Beyond Mindfulness, a free online event. “Beyond Mindfulness will feature top thought leaders, social visionaries, and wisdom holders in dialogue with one another, presenting practical teachings for living a more mindful, compassionate life, and leading guided meditations. Presenters and hosts include Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Joseph Goldstein, Kelly McGonigal, Ken Wilber, Rich Fernandez, Rick Hanson, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Shastri Holly Gayley, Richard Reoch, Acharya Fleet Maull, Susan Piver, Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Lodro Rinzler, Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams and more!”

5. How to Overcome Victim Thinking: 3 Powerful Steps for a Happier Life.

6. Vanity’s Other Name from Rachel Cole.

7. ‘Alone time’ is really good for you. Duh.

8. May You Be Present and Clear from Be More with Less.

9. Bad Responses to Bad Fat Shaming – Starring Keath Hausher and Tony Posnanski on Dances with Fat. And in related news, I Was The So-Called Unhealthy Fat Woman At The Cardinals Game.

10. Good stuff from Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Tired of having to wear a thick skin? Try this instead and Shades of Sensitivity.

11. Diet fads are destroying us: Paleo, gluten-free and the lies we tell ourselves.

12. Why diets don’t actually work, according to a researcher who has studied them for decades.

13. 23 Amazingly Ridiculous Things You Can Buy At Anthropologie.

14. Why We Need to Stop Hating Ourselves, Once and For All.

15. An Open Letter To All Of My Friends Who Take Selfies, (shared by Kirsten).

16. Wisdom from Valerie Estelle Frankel, (shared by Jen Louden),

While the hero journeys for external fame, fortune, and power, the heroine tries to regain her lost creative spirit… Once she hears the cries of this lost part of herself needing rescue, her journey truly begins.

17. What’s the Truth About Sugar Addiction? from Eat to Love.

18. Wisdom from Dita Von Teese,

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

19. A Photo Essay: A Creativity Reboot on Rowdy Kittens.

20. My Terrifying Tornado Story from Elizabeth Gilbert.

21. 6 Words That Are Guaranteed to End Picky Eating.

22. Why I quit dieting.

23. Cute bunnies working in an office.

24. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Truth in Nonfiction But Were Afraid to Ask: A Bad Advice Cartoon Essay.

25. Mourning the Death and Celebrating the Life of Dave Goldberg.

26. A Woman Uses Art To Come To Terms With Her Father’s Death.

27. “Mind creates the gap and then the heart crosses it.” Wisdom from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (by way of Susan Piver),

28. Good stuff from Bored Panda, 23 Before-And-After Photos Of Pets Growing Up With Their Toys, and This Rescued Pet Rat And Dog Are The Best Buddies Ever, and Sad Vacation Guy Wins Second Vacation, Takes His Wife And Baby, Has Much Better Time.

29. How We Grieve: Meghan O’Rourke on the Messiness of Mourning and Learning to Live with Loss on Brain Pickings.

30. Welcome To “Bestie Row”: Lifelong Friends Build Row Of Tiny Houses In The Middle Of Nowhere.

31. This Kid Says A Lot Of Hilarious Sh*t And His Dad Gets It All On Camera.

32. The ‘Painful Personal Toll Lung Cancer Has Taken on My Life’ by Cheryl Strayed.

33. How not to say the wrong thing.

34. Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread recipe.

35. 8 Body Positive Activists To Put On Your Radar, Because They’re All Badasses.

36. Stephen Colbert shocks South Carolina schools by funding every single teacher-requested grant.

37. In Which I Critique Your Story (That I Haven’t Read) from Terrible Minds.

38. Good stuff on tickld: 25 Of The Best Anti-Jokes Ever. #11 Is Gold. and Little Boy Gives The Best Response Ever. This Man Should Be Ashamed.

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.

Something Good

1. The Daily Dharma Gathering from the Open Heart Project. Susan says, “Together with Buddhist teacher and awesome guy Lodro Rinzler, I’m pleased to announce a new program: three months of live meditation sessions Tuesdays – Sundays with some of the most accomplished and wise dharma teachers in the world.”

2. A Beautiful (and Budget-Friendly!) Laundry Room Makeover. As a person who keeps myself too busy, and an introvert who doesn’t have many people over to my house, most of my spaces look more like the before picture. What I like so much about this though is that it makes it so clear that if you put forth just a little effort, you can have a beautiful space. I’d like to be better about that.

3. The Struggle Is Real from Baby Weigel. I’m not a mom, but I love what Aubrey has to say here about the difficult choices we have to make sometimes about the things we love and what we do, how we spend our time. May she have an easy transition back.

4. Elizabeth Gilbert Has a New Book (and We’ve Got the First Look at the Cover!) on the Etsy blog.

8. cArtographies – Crystal Pite, a beautiful, inspiring video which led me to a similarly beautiful and inspiring project, “BC filmmaker and visual artist Brian Johnson profiles 19 BC-based artists, from a variety of disciplines, who are both inspired and challenged by their geographic surroundings.” Too bad the full video can only be watched if you are in Canada — lucky Canadians. You’ve got all the good stuff.

9. The Radiance Sutras, a beautiful text I found by way of this post on Kintsugi Dance.

10. How To Get Your Writing Mojo On from Laurie Wagner.

11. Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Episode 05 – The Eightfold Path.

12. The Splendid Table’s Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove, a recipe I found by way of Kirsten’s In the kitchen post. Another good thing from Kirsten this week was her post, Yoga and men.

13. A Yoga Teacher Training Certificate is Just the First Step on Elephant Journal.

14. Here’s Tina Fey And Amy Poehler’s Opening Monologue From The 2015 Golden Globes.

15. Good stuff on Slate: Children Photographed With Their Most Prized Possessions and This Guy Took a Photo Every Time He Saw Someone Reading a Book on the Subway.

16. 25 Ways to Stop Feeling Overworked and Overwhelmed from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

17. unexpected california eclectic on SF Girl by Bay.

18. Wisdom from Rachael Maddox, “Magic is the natural and spontaneous aligned activity that happens on the other side of presence and compassion.”

19. Some things that made me really angry this week: Charlize Theron Negotiates $10M Raise After Sony Hack Reveals Male Costar Was To Be Paid Millions More, and 100 serial rapists identified after rape kits from Detroit Crime Lab are finally processed, and The brutal secrets behind ‘The Biggest Loser.’

20. Self-Taught Chinese Street Photographer Takes China By Storm With His Perfectly Timed Photos on Bored Panda.

21. My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward.

22. Trapped In His Body For 12 Years, A Man Breaks Free on NPR.

23. Ellen DeGeneres Humorously Responds to Pastor Who Accused Her of Promoting the “Gay Agenda” in Hollywood.

24. Quitting Sugar Is Not The Answer.

25. On Stuff by Meghan Genge.

26. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa, on how meditation leads to wisdom,

Out of that precision and refinement comes gentleness. You are not just paying attention, but you are also aware of your own pain and pleasure, and you develop sympathy and friendship for yourself. From that you are able to understand, or at least see, the pain and suffering of others, and you begin to develop a tremendous sense of sympathy for others. At the same time, such sympathy helps the mindfulness-awareness process develop further. Basically, you become a gentle person. You begin to realize that you are good: totally good and totally wholesome. You have a sense of trust in yourself and in the world. There is something to grip on to, and the quality of path or journey emerges out of that. You feel you want to do something for others and something for yourself. There is a sense of universal kindness, goodness, and genuineness.

27. 23andMe is a DNA analysis service providing information and tools for individuals to learn about and explore their DNA, ancestry-related genetic reports. I kinda wanna do it.

28. How to set goals & commitments that you’ll actually keep from Alexandra Franzen.

29. Good stuff from Be More with Less: Defeat the Clutter that Defeats Your Purpose and Women Can Be Minimalists Too.

30. Please Don’t Start Meditating (Unless You’re Willing to Change) from Lodro Rinzler. Also from Lodro, A Meditation for Morning Intention.

31. My Accidental Book Deal from Laura Simms. I love this part,

The editor had already reached out to another coach about being the author, but she already had a book in the works and couldn’t take another one on. She recommended me.

That’s it.

Someone recommended me. I’m not close to this person, we’ve never met in person. We’ve exchanged some complimentary words on Twitter. That’s the extent of our relationship. She just thought I’d be a good fit for the book.

And I had almost four years of writing samples on my blog to speak for me. And had released two ebooks on my own. And built a decent social media presence. Of course, there’s that. Let’s not discount all of that work. If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, then I had done my side of the equation.

So that’s my accidental book deal. The book that showed up when I was just minding my own business, doing the work, and being visible.

32. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: Benefits of Massage (Infographic) and 10 Signs You’re In A Codependent Relationship.

33. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: Buddha’s Daughters: An Interview with Insight Teacher Gina Sharpe and George Takei’s six best Buddhist posts.

34. Truthbomb #711 from Danielle LaPorte: “Make choices that liberate you.”

35. The 17 Naughtiest Dogs Of 2014.

36. Trust the Timing of Your Life, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

37. Blink Now. “The BlinkNow Foundation’s mission is to provide an education and a loving, caring home for orphaned, impoverished and at-risk children.” This organization was founded by a single teenager, who is now Mom to 50+ children she’s adopted. Kinda makes you want to get off your ass, doesn’t it?

38. Sukha on the Squam blog.

39. Authentic Success in the New Year ~ with a little help from Liz Gilbert.

40. Your Turn Challenge, starts today. Read more of the backstory in Seth Godin’s blog post, Getting unstuck (a one week challenge).

41. Photo Battle: Katja Blichfeld vs. Ellen Van Dusen. So fun.

42. Neil Gaiman Shares The Easiest Way To Become A Successful Writer on BuzzFeed.

43. The unofficial comfort foods of every state in America. I wholeheartedly agree with the choices for Colorado and Oregon.

44. Syrup sandwiches and stolen toilet paper: Reddit users describe growing up poor.

45. A Note from the Universe, “All deliberate change, Jill, first comes from denying the logic that most gives you comfort.”

46. The Most Important Question of Your Life from Mark Manson. It’s not what you think.

47. Changing the World, One Word at a Time! | The Queen Latifah Show.

48. This Video Encouraging Women To Be More Active Has Gone Viral on BuzzFeed.

49. The Reason You Make Unhealthy Choices. Spoiler alert: “Self-compassion — accepting yourself without judgment when times get tough — is linked to better health behaviors.”

50. Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links: From The Good Life to Gratitude. Tammy was one of the contributors to the Self-Compassion Saturday eBook and shared the link on her list this week.

51. The myth of perfection from Susannah Conway.

52. The things we’d rescue from the fire from Judy Clement Wall. The New York Times piece Judy links to is also worth reading, What Would You Grab in a Fire?

53. 19 Badass Instagrammers Who Prove Yoga Bodies Come In All Shapes And Sizes on BuzzFeed. Just one of the reasons Instagram is awesome.

54. When Their Cat Found Baby Ducks, They Never Expected This To Happen. So much cute.

55. Letter from the Birmingham Jail from Seth Godin.

Something Good

1. Feast, “an intensive 3-month program for women who want to come home to themselves, make peace with food, and feast on their lives.” I submitted my application about 20 minutes after Rachel opened, that’s how ready I am for this. She’s taking applications now, but just for this week and there are only 30 spots in this session. Other good stuff from Rachel: Go closer and Doing your best.

2. ZenPen ecourse, “Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth.” It starts today, so there’s still time to sign up for the latest session.

3. The lists I look at every week for inspiration:

4. Story Swap at the Lyric Cinema Cafe. Looks fun.

5. Wisdom from Clarissa Pinkola Estes,

[W}e all begin the process before we are ready, before we are strong enough, before we know enough; we begin a dialogue with thoughts and feelings that both tickle and thunder within us. We respond before we know how to speak the language, before we know all the answers, and before we know exactly to whom we are speaking.

6. Wisdom from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

7. This is a little different, something I’m offering to you because I don’t agree with it, but I find it and my disagreement very interesting, worth contemplating: This is why you shouldn’t take people’s Facebook lives seriously.

8. One Model Tried On 10 Different Pairs Of Size 16 Jeans And This Is What They Looked Like on BuzzFeed.

9. Realistic New Year’s Resolutions on The Awl.

10. 10 Ways to Turn Off Your Worries on Psychology Today.

11. The Word from Susannah Conway. We both chose “nourish” as our word this year.

12. Future self, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

13. Responding to Violence and Insanity (one Buddhist’s perspective) from Susan Piver.

14. Wisdom from Andre Gide, “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”

15. 27 Reasons Why I Can Never Be a Writer on McSweeney’s.

16. On Expectations (and the promise of 2015) from Sandi Amorim.

17. Why dreaming big almost cost me my self from Jennifer Louden, who has a gorgeous new website design.

18. My wish for your 2015, a poem from Cynthia Morris, who also has a gorgeous new website design.

19. A Note from the Universe, “I know this may come as somewhat of a shock, Jill, but of your innumerable and extraordinary gifts, one day you’ll consider your present day challenges as the greatest of them all. Trust me.”

20. Margaret Atwood’s charming Reddit AMA.

21. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel.

22. the thrive portraits from Chookooloonks.

23. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “life is much too short to ever stick around a person who makes you feel like you are difficult to love.” (Unless of course the person is you, and then you’ve got to figure that shit out).

24. Stop Waiting To Love Yourself Because Of Your Weight on Rebelle Society.

25. Watch Jimmy Fallon learn he totally missed Nicole Kidman’s decade-old come-on.

26. Five things the diet industry doesn’t want you to know in 2015.

27. Overcoming Objections to Body Acceptance from Isabel Foxen Duke.

28. My Indecorous Word of the Year from Laura Simms.

29. belonging to the body from lists & letters.

30. From Addicted Teen to Acclaimed Therapist: The Inside Story on the Good Life Project.

31. A Boy Said She Was Too Ugly To Touch. She Believed It For 10 Years. Here’s What She Has To Say Now. on Upworthy, from Soul Pancake.

32. Why “I am enough” isn’t enough on Life with Lucia.

33. Kill Inner Clutter Before it Kills You on Be More with Less.

34. Commuters push train off man whose leg became trapped between carriage and platform. This is who we are.

35. America, please stop raising assholes on Renegade Mothering.

36. To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This on The New York Times. And a related article that includes the 36 questions the author references, No. 37: Big Wedding or Small?

37. Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: 15 Resolutions for 2015 from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds on Brain Pickings.

Something Good

Every year, just after Thanksgiving, someone sneaks into the park where we walk our dogs and decorates three trees that stand next to the trail. This is the Charlie Brown one.

Every year, just after Thanksgiving, someone sneaks into the park where we walk our dogs and decorates three trees that stand next to the trail. This is the little Charlie Brown one.

1. Creative Living with Jamie has been named one of the Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepeneurs by Entrepreneur magazine! It’s really good. One of my favorite moments from the past year is when she interviewed me.

2. “It’s not about “giving up” control…”, wisdom from Isabel Foxen Duke.

3. Good stuff from Bored Panda: I Draw Pet Illustrations Based On Their Personalities, and This 5-Year-Old Girl Sneaked A Baby Cow Into Her Home To Cuddle With It, and 24+ Beautiful Ice And Snow Formations That Look Like Art.

4. True Stories Series: Maya Stein on 27 Powers.

5. Dear Woman on the Cusp from Rachel Cole. Her new offering, Feast, is so perfect for me that it feels like she created it just for me, but luckily for you, you can come along too if you’d like.

6. Life Was Perfect When Her Son Was Born. 14 Weeks Later, Everything Changed, on the importance of gratitude.

7. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook. And also from Liz, Karaoke wisdom.

8. Truthbomb #680 from Danielle LaPorte, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

9. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

We ache and bleed and suffer when we wish things were different than they are…and we don’t even realize that the thing that is really keeping us from healing is that we are simply not accepting things as they are, but we are still wishing things had happened differently, or not happened at all.

And this,

You will come across things in your life that just feel wrong, things that make you feel heavy or confused or wobbly or sideways. Something deep inside you will feel unsettled and you will know that you want to move away from that thing or that situation or even that person … Be willing to walk away from things that feel wrong.

10. A Note from the Universe, (I want to believe this so badly…)

Jill, if, way down deep, you can even slightly comprehend that time is an illusion and that space is just a stage, then it shouldn’t take much of a leap to realize how safe you are, how much magic there is, and most importantly, that there must exist a super-consciousness with wishes and dreams all its own, that include you.

11. Wisdom from Geneen Roth:

Ask yourself if what you are telling yourself is true. Is it true that your body is ugly? Don’t answer so fast! (I heard you!) Ask yourself to what and whom you are comparing yourself? To a younger version of yourself? To a 20-year-old or an actress who works out three hours a day? Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given, the place where love and joy and grief happen, where happiness unfolds. Do you really want to keep believing that it’s a horrible, ugly, lumpy thing? Do you really want to keep punching yourself like that? (Call me psychic, but I have a feeling that the answer is no.)

When you stop telling yourself stories about your body, about your eating, about your life, you stop having to eat to fix how awful you feel because you stop feeling awful. Then and only then can you actually figure out what is really true. What you really want. What you really feel. What you really believe.

Ask yourself what would happen if you stopped the incessant chatter about how lumpy or stretchy or ugly your body is. What would happen if, instead, you thanked your body for taking you this far. For schlepping packages and bearing children and making love. Then listen to it carefully to see what it needs.

12. The myth of finding your purpose, from Kris Carr. It’s an older post but one of the most important, still.

13. 50 Lessons From A Decade of Blogging from Leonie Dawson.

14. Let’s make some magic in 2015! Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead 2015 workbook (FREE), one of the practices I gift myself during this busy time of year. She’s also offering a FREE 5-day email class to help you figure out your word for 2015, Find Your Word.

15. This Blog is Going to Embarrass my Husband.

16. 5 Tips For Being An Ally from Chescaleigh.

17. The Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision and We Can’t Breathe from The Daily Show.

18. Wisdom from Ethan Nichtern,

It was wonderful to be among many thousands at the rally last night, even under such brutal and tragic circumstance. Right now it feels like my practice is all about awareness: increasing my own awareness of the people in this world who I habitually ignore or fail to see. We each have massive blind spots, and the first step in transformation is accepting that we live in a world where so many people remain unseen and unheard, and simply developing the courage to look. May all people feel seen, heard, and valued.

19. Anne Lamott discusses grief and forgiveness in Small Victories on Booktrib.

20. this was a good week? from Chookooloonks.

21. Little Humans Reading Little Humans.

21. Pine Ridge Holiday Project. “There is still time to provide a little holiday cheer to the people of Pine Ridge. We have plenty of names of elementary and junior high aged children. You can also send donations for firewood to be delivered to families and elders to help keep them warm and toasty. Please email forpineridge@gmail.com and let me know if you prefer to provide simple gifts for children or if you would like to make a donation for firewood. Thank you for your kindness and generosity! Chris and Julie.”

22. In related news: “Please consider donating $110.00 for a cord of fire wood for a family on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It is already freezing up there. A small group of Lakota gentlemen cut, deliver and stack the wood…so this provides income for the wood cutters as well as warmth for a family. Here is the link to Village Earth to donate firewood (tax deductible).”

23. 10 Habits of Happy, Healthy Couples from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

24. How to Change Your Life in Just 2 Minutes a Day: 10 Quick Habits from the Positivity Blog.

25. 5 Questions to Simplify Your Life During the Holidays from Zen Habits. Why limit it to the holidays? We should be asking ourselves these questions all year, the rest of our lives.

26. The Last 5 Most Frustrating Things about Simplicity from Be More with Less.

27. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Most Questions Can Be Boiled Down To (this brilliant image is from this post), and Interview with Reading Lives, and Video of my Show Your Work! chalktalk, and a link he shared to this amazing quote, Murdering A Book.

28. Six Causes of Procrastination And How to Overcome Them on Life is Limitless.

29. Shared on Positively Present Picks: 36 Prompts to Help You Plan an Awesome 2015.

30. A Lesbian Takes Her Niece To Meet A Princess, Is Mistaken For Her Dad, And…, another great TEDX Boulder talk from Ash Beckham.

31. Why Fat-Shaming By Doctors Really, Really Matters from xojane. Reading through the tweets tagged #diagnosisfat makes me so angry, so sad.

32. This Toddler’s Killer Dubstep Dance Moves Will Even Blow Skrillex Away. I am so in love with this little guy.

33. What’s next?, a set of really great prompts from Seth Godin.