Category Archives: Painted Path

Day of Rest

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My sweet friend Julia shared this poem last week, and it was so perfectly timed for me, the reminder that worry is like praying for what you don’t want to happen, that it is counterproductive and even destructive, and at its most innocent it comes to nothing, so it’s okay to let it go, to open up and sing. I thought maybe you might need the reminder too, kind and gentle reader.

I Worried
Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

Wishcasting Wednesday (on a Thursday)

What Do You Wish to Savour?

…my mornings. I get up at 4:30 a.m. and for the first hour or two, my only responsibility is to feed the dog. I pull a tarot card, meditate, write, check my email, Facebook, Instagram, maybe read or write a blog post — time just for me, to practice and contemplate.

…time alone with Sam, having just one dog, just him for a brief time.

…my yoga practice, as I continue to direct compassion towards my body, to be present with it, as I prepare to start teacher training.

…my mediation practice, to relax into that vast, open space, to trust that is always there, always available and accessible.

…my writing practice, the opportunity to go deeper, to more fully experience and understand, to open my heart.

…the transition between seasons, summer to fall, even as I chant “it’s too hot” to remember this time is passing, to notice that things are manifesting their final foliage, blooms and fruits.

…the plenty from my garden, this time of so many tomatoes and cucumbers that we can’t possibly eat them all ourselves, the temporary sweetness of their full, fresh flavor.

…the opportunities coming, the chance to spend time with amazing teachers and good friends.

…each task, seen through until its completion, rather than rushing past some of the details to hurry to the next thing.

…the abundance that is my life now, how simple and small, how deep and wide, how perfect.

Like my dear friend Julia wrote in a recent poem, I wish to savour this life, this experience, and to

Slow way down
get close and closer
listen like crazy
to your life

Something Good

1. This American Life 500th Anniversary, an interview with Ira Glass on Slate.

2. Broken by Ria on Hopeful World.

3. Nature and nurture (professional edition) from Seth Godin.

4. We’ve Been Robbed from Rachel Cole.

5. This wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert,

Because here’s the thing — we are really slow, as a species, to catching on sometimes that the past is past. And since there is no sense of time in the human subconscious, there is part of us that doesn’t always know, when it comes to certain dark traumas: IT’S FINISHED. Sometimes you have to talk to yourself about that fact (gently, lovingly) and explain to yourself the reality of the timeline. Did it already happen to you? Yes. Did you already survive it? Yes. Then try to let yourself go forth in peace. It’s over. It sometimes takes so much convincing for us to believe this, but whatever you’re most afraid of…? Chances are, it’s over.

6. Dustin Hoffman Breaks Down Crying Explaining Something That Every Woman Sadly Already Experienced on Upworthy.

7. Join the circus without having to run away, Rachael Maddox & the Traveling Soul Circus. Read about it, or help fund it.

8. Summer Sabbatical Update #1 from Courtney Putnam.

9. Soul Sister Special from Liv Lane, good until midnight tonight, Central Time.

10. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

The process is the goal. And this is always true. Otherwise, you get to where you believe the goal is, and you raise the proverbial bar. You make another goal. And then, you push to get to that one, that goal. And make another one. And in the meantime, you keep missing what you call your life. And then you wonder how it all went by so fast and where you were while it was happening. That’s how people get to the end of their lives and suddenly realize, they missed the gifts. The small moments. The ordinary moments, on the way to the Big Get. The Goal.

This moment, right now, is It.

11. on negative chatter and being brave from Jessica Swift.

12. red winkle picker regret and the dark side of decluttering from Lianne Raymond.

13. The ability to course correct and Waking up on A Design So Vast.

14. I Are Cute Duckling AWW

15. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: Enlightenment in the Age of Disruption, an episode of Good Life Project.

16. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup, “The practice of mindfulness should not result in stress. If it does, it may be a sign that we are trying too hard—that we are grasping at ‘mindfulness’ itself, that we need to relax a little and be less self-conscious.”

17. From Your Inner Pilot Light,

Do you wonder what it would feel like to be healed, my love? Let me tell you, because as the part of you who is always whole, healed, and perfect at every moment, I’m on it. When you’re healed, you wake up every morning and feel free. Free of the grip of fear. Free of caring what everybody else thinks. Free of feeling like you have anything to prove. Free of worrying that you’re not enough. Free of self-beatings. Free of muddy confusion. Free to be unapologetically YOU. Free. You feel very alive, which doesn’t mean you don’t cry or feel sadness. When you’re healed, you may cry more than ever, actually. But those feelings come, flood you, and release, rather than getting stuck. You know you’re NOT alone. When you’re healed, you feel deeply connected- to me and my glorious spark, that is. You know that everything is happening in perfect harmony with a greater plan. So you feel free of anxiety, because you know you are held and safe and the world is conspiring to help you walk your path with ease. It’s that simple. Do you want to feel healed? Tap in, love.

18. Head/Heart/Feet on Painted Path, where Julia shares about a really great documentary project her brother-in-law is putting together, funding through Kickstarter.

19. Zoe Saldana on The Conversation.

20. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : slow down, your daily rock : love evaporates fear, and your daily rock : let go.

21. An Artist Takes Bits And Pieces Of Hate And Turns Them Into Something Beautiful on Upworthy. We got a nasty note on our car and even though Eric told me I should just throw it away, I kept it because I wanted to make an art journal page with it, wanted to convert the ugliness of it into something beautiful, something that would help me generate compassion, that would cultivate healing for both me and the author. That’s what this artist did, and I love it. Let’s do more of this.

22. Easy Caramel Apple Recipe. This should come with some kind of a warning, I think, something like this — Danger: extreme yumminess ahead, eat with caution.

23. I am trying to remain calm about this, but you can now pre-order Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened.

24. How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love on Brain Pickings.

25. 20 Ways to Get Good Karma by The Dalai Lama.

26. Adopted dog treks 10 miles in freezing cold back to shelter to be with his beloved mate. You don’t need to tell me that dogs love big, that loyalty is one of their strongest characteristics. *sob*

27. 10 (Healthy) Ways to Lose Weight (& Feel your Best) on Elephant Journal.

28. This wisdom, poetry from Galway Kinnell,

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing…

29. And this wisdom from Louise Erdrich, which I like to revisit from time to time,

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.

30. “It’s not about being tough. It’s about being tender,” guest series on Jamie Ridler’s blog. Jamie’s mom passed away the day after my sweet Dexter, and when it became clear she would need to take some time off from creating content for her blog, she asked some people to write blog posts based on a theme, something her mother had said, “It’s not about being tough. It’s about being tender.” There have been some really great posts so far. Jamie asked me to write one, and it will be up on Wednesday, July 17th. I was so happy to support her, to have the opportunity to do something, anything for her as she lived this difficult transition, this loss. It is becoming more and more clear to me that the only way any of us make it through the confusion and chaos of being human is together, helping each other, showing up, offering support, being kind, “walking each other home.”

Something Good

1. You don’t have to pander from Seth Godin’s blog, in which he says, “The reason you don’t have to pander is that you’re not in a hurry and you don’t need everyone to embrace you and your work. When you focus on the weird, passionate, interesting segment of the audience, you can do extraordinary work for a few (and watch it spread) instead of starting from a place of average.”

2. Website designs I like, non-perishable goods and Positively Present‘s new look–both simple and clean, minimalist.

3. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh: your daily rock : love your layers, your daily rock : ignore all critics, and your daily rock : forget about the audience

4. From David Whyte’s poem Out on the Ocean,

Always, this energy smoulders inside,
when it remains unlit,
the body fills with dense smoke.

5. New video from Danielle of one of my favorite songs, The Have Nots.

6. one hundred journeys from Sas Petherick, “The disturbing ugliness and the profound love, the sheer bloody hilarity of being human.”

7. From Geneen Roth, “Peace and contentment are feelings that take practice to achieve. They are not a consequence of being successful or being in love or being thin. They are, among other things, a consequence of stopping in the present moment and looking around.”

8. Why being rash, hasty & stupid is the smartest thing you can do from Alexandra Franzen.

9. The Bigness of God from Julia Fehrenbacher.

10. My Best Mistake: Too Much Success by Gary Vaynerchuk.

11. How to write books and articles more quickly by Cynthia Morris. I will most likely never be this organized, and yet I still aspire to be.

12. Two things that made say “OMG!”: Royal Winnipeg Ballet to debut Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale” next season, and coming out this fall, Mary Oliver’s collection of dog poems, Dog Songs.

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13. From Danielle LaPorte, these Daily Truth Bombs, “What do you really want to happen, really?” and “No dream will serve you if you’re forcing yourself to make it happen,” and New Age Judge Judy and Lessons in Yoga Class.

14. From Elephant Journal,  8 Blunt Truths About Becoming a Yoga Instructor,
Complete Protein? Complete Nonsense, The 10 Things You’ll Do Once You Start Yoga That Have Nothing To Do With Yoga, and The Positive Attitude Paradox.

15. A Miniature Bohemian World, which further reveals my love for book filled, messy spaces.

16. Pictures of people who mock me on Salon.

17. Off Camera interview with Aimee Mann.

18. Loveland’s Anthology Book Co. gets new lease on life. Such good news!

19. Masterpiece In A Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up.

20. From Bored Panda: 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist, (holy wow…), and Dad Illustrates Kids’ Sandwich Bags with Fun Drawings Every Day.

21. I have a crush on Jeff Oak’s writingI found his blog through another of my writing crushes, Guinevere Gets Sober. The fact that they both understand grief and addiction, and have beautiful black dogs doesn’t hurt one bit.

22. The Spiritual Journey, inner journeys and stories of personal growth.

23. Why you should write daily on Zen Habits.

24. On All the Sentimental Stuff and Clutter from Be More with Less, (speaking of writers I have crushes on who have amazing dogs).

25. This quote from Mark Victor Hansen, “Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.”

26. Manifesto on Basic Goodness on Huffington Post–a plan I can get behind.

26. A Beginner’s Guide to Neil Gaiman

27. The Conversation is back! Well, sort of. There are two new, short interviews–better than nothing!

28. In celebration of being ordinary, from Jennifer Louden.

29. Finding a New Rhythm from Jen Lee in which she says,

It’s funny because the old-school approach to getting work done–the entrepreneurial, management-style approach–says that if we start clearing our spaces or wanting to read in bed, we’re just avoiding our work. That we should “push through” and keep in motion.

But that approach has never worked for me in the realm of creative work. Clearing space and resting are as essential to my productivity as the sun and water parts are for growing plants.

30. plumb the depths 26 questions for pure insight from Kylie on effervescence, the art of liking yourself. Also on effervescence, why it’s not selfish to make art…that’s just for yourself.

31. 30 DIY Ideas How To Make Your Backyard Wonderful This Summer. I probably won’t do any of them, but they are awesome, (especially the backyard beach and the tents).

32. Shared by Positively Present, 33 Dogs That Cannot Even Handle It Right Now and Alison Brie mimes your favorite memes.

33. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend post, 30 Abandoned Places that Look Truly Beautiful and Sneak Peak: Paula Mills and Family, a beautifully designed living space.

34. I am in love with this treehouse.

35. This can still happen anywhere.

36. Shared by Stephanie in her Weekend Treats post, Self-Care Is Not A Punishment and 29 Ways to Stay Creative: Start with Darkness.

37. The calming manatee.

38. 39 Reasons Why You Must Read In Order to Write Well, shared by The Mojo Lab.

39. Writing advice from writers handwritten on writers’ hands [14 pictures]

40. Expiration Date by Lisa Bonchek Adams. Lisa’s story, her telling of it keeps breaking my heart, and sometimes I think it would be better to look away, to stop following her, to stop watching and reading, checking in and waiting, that it would somehow be a healthier choice, a saner option to disengage. But then I realize “Lisa is dying.” Someone’s mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend is dying. She may not be literally mine, and yet she IS mine, and for that reason, I won’t look away, won’t unsubscribe or ignore or wish it away. I will be a loving and kind witness to her reality, which in the end is the same for all of us.

41. The most difficult practice of allfrom Susan Piver–“stop feeling bad about yourself.”

Something Good


1. From Justine Musk, The Question You Need to Ask Yourself.

2. This quote from Geneen Roth:

Sometimes we use food and our weight as a way to be left alone. Since many of us believe that, regardless of what we get paid to do, our real job is to on call for people who need us, we leave ourselves with a way to get what we need and want: food. But when you say yes when you mean no, you abandon yourself. And when you say no when you mean no, you signal to yourself that it is safe here, inside your body. Safe here, where you live and are and breathe. You don’t have to run away. You don’t have to lie.

Saying no is a way of being tender with yourself and honest with the people around you. And when you say no with your voice, you will no longer need to say it with your body weight. And when you say no to what you don’t want, you have space to say yes to what you do.

And this one:

Right now, in this very second, ask yourself if what you are doing, what you are thinking and how you are acting brings you closer to yourself or farther away. Does it open your heart or does it close your heart? You have a choice. Break the trance. Come back to kindness.

And this one too:

Sometimes happiness is as difficult to accept as sadness or loneliness. Sometimes, we eat because we don’t know what to do with happiness or joy. We think we’re not allowed. We think we will get “too big for our britches.” We become superstitious. If we talk about it, people won’t like it. If we tell someone, they might be threatened and go away. We hold onto our sadness because we think that that is what connects us with other people–that if we feel terrible about ourselves, we will get help, but if we feel as if we are occupying our own lives, if we feel powerful, we will lose. In this way, we keep ourselves psychologically small. We keep ourselves wounded and afraid of our own magnificence. But it’s when you are aware of, and own, the hugeness of your heart, your being, your love that you are most connected to other people–which then allows them to connect to their own power, their own love. It begins with you.

3. A tiny riverside house in JapanOn the inside, it looks so much bigger, more spacious than you’d expect.

4. Understanding How to Frame Your Creative ExpertiseAnd P.S. I’m a survivor.

5. How to Write Like a Mother#^@%*& by Elissa Bassist & Cheryl Strayed.

6. Not Today a beautiful poem by the beautiful poet Julia Fehrenbacher at Painted Path.

7. The Power of Showing Up from Clare Herbert.

8. “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ~Mary Oliver

9. 5 Lessons I Learned While Running from Marianne Elliott. The final line of this isn’t about running at all, but it’s my favorite. Marianne also has a really great Resources for Writers page on her site.

10. Ben’s Friday Dance Party. I love this guy. He makes me smile. But I also watch this video and wonder if you were around him all the time, would it get annoying? Or would your face and stomach hurt from smiling so much and laughing so hard?

11. 30 Best Jokes from 30 Rock. I watched the final episode this weekend, am so sad that it’s over.

12. I commit to 28 days of meditation practice. May my practice benefit all beings.

13. 14 Days of Self Love hosted by Vivienne McMaster.

14. My Creative Life: Rachel W Cole on Susannah Conway’s blog. Two of my favorite women together.

15. 8 Ways Happy People are Different from Everyone Else by Shelley Prevost.

16. Why We Write: Mary Karr on the Magnetism and Madness of the Written Word on Brain Pickings. Equally depressing, refreshingly honest, and oddly comforting is this, “I still don’t support myself as a writer. I support myself as a college professor. I couldn’t pay my mortgage on the revenue from my books. The myth is that you make a lot of money when you publish a book. Unless you write a blockbuster, that’s pretty much untrue. Starting when I was five, I always identified as a writer. It had nothing to do with income.” I wish it weren’t true, and yet if it is, wouldn’t it just be better to surrender?

17. Brene’ Brown: The Courage to Be Vulnerable, Sounds True Podcast. Listen or download for free.

18. 13 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers from Jeff Goins, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list.

19. Glazed Beet and Carrot SaladI want to eat this, (also from Susannah’s list).

20. My Gift to You from Erica Herbert, in which Erica reads the sweetest book, (also from Susannah’s list).

21. Seth Godin on The Art of Noticing, and Then Creating, an On Being podcast, (from Happy Links on Rowdy Kittens). Also about Seth Godin, Here’s How Seth Godin Writes on Copy Blogger. My favorite part is when he is asked: “Do you write every day?” and his answer is “Do you talk every day?”

22. Yo La Tengo – “I’ll Be Around” video, a simple but magically complex video.

23. Danny and Annie, a sweet, sad love story, with an ending like so many others.

24. 10 Things Parents Should Never, Ever Do on BlogHer. I’m never sure if these are funny to me because I don’t have kids, or if they’d be that much funnier if I did.

25. Get Out of Your Head and Into the Moment on Scoutie Girl.

26. How to Say No to Everything Ever by Alexandra Franzen.

27. Oh What To Do About Sugar? by Jennifer Louden. Oh what to do indeed.

Unspeakable Love

decembersky

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. ~Washington Irving

I have been trying for two days to figure out what to say about “what happened on Friday.” At first, I decided to say nothing at all. The next blog post I published was a Reverb12 prompt response the day after. When I noticed later in the day that someone had unfollowed my blog, I was sure it was because I hadn’t mentioned it. I felt guilty, that I had this platform, a voice, kind and gentle readers, and I wasn’t saying anything about it.

And yet, so much was already being said, and I didn’t know what to say anyway. How do you speak about such a thing? Where do you even start, what could you possibly say that would make any kind of sense, that would make things even the tiniest bit better? I couldn’t help reading what was being posted on Facebook (okay, could have but chose not to) but I didn’t click many of the links people were posting, I wasn’t listening to the news on the radio or reading it on the web, and I don’t have cable tv so missed all that coverage too.

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I told my new friend Tammy not too long ago that “I am never political–that’s just me, I’m a peacemaker–if people are picketing, instead of picking a side, I’d bring everyone sandwiches,” so there was no way I was joining in the political conversation that was developing. And yet, getting sad and posting about that didn’t feel possible. I’ve never been able to watch any of the documentaries or read any of the books written about 9/11. Or Hurricane Katrina, or the tsunami that hit Japan, or any of the various shootings at schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, or various other locations. If I am watching a nature show, and an animal is getting chased or about to be attacked and eaten by another, I can’t watch. I have heard only a few stories about “what happened on Friday,” seen the list of names and a few pictures, heard what other people have had to say, but I won’t go further than that just yet. It’s too raw, too tender, too much.

The last time I willingly watched TV news was the day the Twin Towers fell. After that, I couldn’t take it any more, specifically the way the media focuses on everything that is wrong, amplifies the bad, cultivates anxiety, the way they repeat each horrible thing over and over, a habitual and discursive cultivation of fear and scarcity, aggression and despair, reporting only what is bad and scary, threatening, with maybe one “human interest” story thrown in at the very end, (“human interest” is a term that has always confounded me–isn’t it all of interest to humans, or shouldn’t it be? and if it’s not, who is it for?!).

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The news media aren’t the only ones guilty of this, advertising and politics do the same–convincing us that things have gone horribly wrong, that everything is broken, including us, and the only hope is if we buy or buy into what they are selling. I’m even guilty of it myself, of obsessing over the one bad thing that’s happening, that happened, the one unkind thing a person said or did even in the context of 100 other compassionate acts I witnessed, of allowing myself to repeat the story of unfairness or hopelessness again and again, of sinking into despair because my view has gotten so distorted that I actually start to believe that there is more bad than good in the world, that things are suddenly getting worse or can’t possibly get any better.

I don’t want to get too close to this kind of thinking, that way of being.  I won’t deny it when it comes, but I won’t cling to it either, I won’t feed it. So what can I do? I’ve been asking myself that for the past few days, what can I do, what should I do? And as always, the answer is the same: life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible–keep your heart open. All I can do is continue to try and ease suffering in the world, including my own. And share with you a few of the things that have helped me to do so the past few days, in the hope that they might help you too.
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And a few quotes and lines of poetry which remind me of the transformation that is possible, of the good that is already present.

From Anne-Sophie Reinhardt of aMINDmedia, in her weekly newsletter: Please don’t lose faith in our world and in fellow women and men. There’s good in all of us. Some may have lost all connection with themselves, but even they can dig deep and find a way back to themselves. They may just need a little bit of love, attention and help.

frozenpond

Forget about enlightenment.
Sit down wherever you are and listen to the wind that is singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are,
right now,
not who you would like to be.
Not the saint you’re striving to become.
But the being right here before you,
inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You’re already more and less than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, look in, let go.
~John Welwood

The first step to bringing peace is not to try to eliminate all external hostile forces, which is impossible anyway, but rather, to work with our own mind. If we tame our mind, we will enjoy true peace, as if we have pacified the whole world. ~Tulku Thondup

I was feeling all the heaviness today–the sadness of so many hard things happening among my friends, family, and our global community. And I was struck, once again, that we always have a choice to wither and grow hard in the face of atrocity or to soften into an even kinder, gentler place. Sylvia Boorstein teaches that the question isn’t so much, “am I happy?,” as it is “can I care and be loving in this moment?” In our despair, may we never lose our capacity to care. ~Jessica Patterson

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Anne Lamott: “My pastor talks often about our dual citizenship, as
children of God, and Goodness, gorgeous and divine, and we are also people with human biographies and wounds and families, living in a world of unimaginable suffering, brutality, madness.”

I am both animal and angel. Animals need the solid ground beneath them; angels long for flight; humans are caught in the middle. Just remembering that sets me free. I am a grounded angel. No wonder I get so confused…There are hundreds of ways for each of us to counter despair with an act that connects us to our most essential, simple self…There are hundreds of ways to put down our burdens, hundreds of ways to give and receive blessings, hundreds of ways to wake up grateful after a sleepless night. ~Elizabeth Lesser, from her book Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.

Geneen Roth: “whether we are headed towards Armageddon or sailing into the New Age, our work is the same: to keep our hearts open.”

From Susan Piver: This is why we practice. Right now, for moments like this, this is exactly why we practice. Not only for our own (well-deserved) peace and equanimity, but so that when our world needs us, we can be there without shutting down. When we close our hearts, we disappear. When we open them, not only can we be of tremendous benefit to others, we heal our own wounds.

Every day, every minute someone’s heart is broken, someone is hurt–many someones in fact. Sometimes we know about it, experience it directly or hear about it on the news, and other times that grief, that trauma is invisible to us, but we can be sure it is always there. Some people are so wrapped up, so lost in their own confusion, passion and aggression, that they are hardly capable of helping, and all of us in one way or another are generating suffering, for ourselves and maybe even for others. The events in Connecticut on Friday are a stark reminder of how much we can be hurt, are hurt, of how much suffering exists.

What I wish for all of us, kind and gentle reader, is that we can keep our hearts open, even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when the love and joy present are so vast we feel as if we couldn’t possibly hold it all without breaking apart–keep your heart open.

Something Good

decmorningmoon1. Kickstart Your Change: Free courses that help you dream big, take action, and change your life.”

2. This quote from Cheri Huber: “Whatever we are experiencing at any moment does not have to be resisted or improved or analyzed.  It is possible simply to open oneself to whatever is here.” Amen, (now if only I could do this consistently).

3. Brené Brown on Vulnerability, On Being Podcast.

4. This quote from Edward Hays, A Book of Wonders: “Grant me daily the grace of gratitude, to be thankful for all my many gifts, and so be freed from artificial needs, that I might lead a joyful, simple life.”

5. How To Sit With Your Emotions from Effervescence.

6. This quote from Howard Thurman: “Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

dec12sky7. Bow to Whatever it is, a poem by Tara Sophia Mohr shared by Julia on Painted Path.

8. This quote from Anna Quindlen: “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”

9. This contemplation from Ram Deev: Prioritize health. What’s the point of freeing ourselves if we’re forced to experience that freedom caged inside an unhealthy body?

10. How To Uncover Your Values (And Why You’d Want To) from Tamarisk Saunders-Davies.

11. Affluenza, a documentary from PBS. An oldie, but a goody.

12. Top Documentary Films. Watch documentaries online for free, (this is where I originally found Affluenza, which I first saw 15 years ago).

13. Sun Jar, a solar powered garden light. I have always wanted one of these, was reminded of them the other day. This company has some other really cool stuff, so take a look around.

14. Thoughts On Feeling Shiny Again, a really great post from Holly on decor8.

15. Five Practices to Stay Grounded During a Busy Season from Scoutie Girl. Just looking at this list makes me feel better.

16. This quote from La Rochefoucauld, “A man who finds no satisfaction in himself will seek for it in vain elsewhere.” Ain’t that the truth…

17. Get the World’s Simplest Minimalism Formula from Live Collar Free. “A simple ‘program’ for getting rid of a lifetime of collected and gathered belongings,” just what I need.