Category Archives: Pugly Pixel

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte on Facebook,

Want to get unstuck? Maybe it’s time to stop analyzing it.

You can work out your family of origin issues, and neuroses, and past life traumas with your shrink or your shaman. You can talk talk talk it out all day long (I know, I’ve done it). You can trace the cause of your wounds and why you’re so stuck. But at some point, eventually, who cares WHY you’re stuck. Instead of focusing on how you got to where you are, you’ve got to shift your attention to where you’d rather be.

I’ve had at least a thousand conversations about success and desire. And I’ve noticed that when someone starts over-explaining WHY they’re stuck, it can be an indicator that they’re not 100% interested in getting unstuck. Recapitulating the past can provide a lot of comfort and confirmation. But…

Too much analysis can create paralysis.

As the saying goes, “Who cares why the elephant is standing on your foot? Just get him off.”

When I worked one-on-one with strategy clients, I began starting our session with this: “I’m asking you, for this hour together, to try to not talk about your past. We’re here to create your future, let’s just declare that the past has little bearing on where you want to go.” Some folks squirmed, could barely resist slipping into old stories. Some people were like, “What a great idea. I’m so tired of my story. Let’s move forward!”

Sometimes you can’t see why you were stuck until after you get unstuck. Hindsight and high-sight solves a lot of mysteries. In the mean time, you’ve got a new story to write, and it looks nothing like your past.

2. 6 life lessons from 6 years of blogging on Positively Present.

3. An apparently hungover Jimmy Fallon talks about the ‘epic’ SNL 40 after-party.

4. 34 Stunning Photos That Dispel the “Yoga Body” Myth.

5. You Have a Right to Refuse to be Weighed from Be Nourished.

6. The Source of Contentment on Zen Habits.

7. chinos are my kryptonite from Sas Petherick.

8. Patti Smith on The Biggest Misconception About Her.

9. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert: Own Your Shit and The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself — And All The Women Around You.

10. Be Kind, James Martin describes three simple ways you can be nicer to others this Lent.

11. Aka On Aloha.

12. Good stuff on Elephant Journal: All-Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Recipe and 14 Creative Ways to Love Ourselves.

13. My favorite quotes on A Design So Vast.

14. My Own Life, Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer.

15. Anne Lamott On The Really Hard Parts of Being Human. She tells the truth and through some sort of magic makes me feel okay about it.

16. Wisdom from an anonymous stranger, “The act of improving lives in the world is in no way inferior to the act of adding lives to the world.” (Thanks for sharing, Andrea).

17. Russian Photographer Captures The Cutest Squirrel Photo Session Ever on Bored Panda.

18. Wisdom from Geneen Roth: On Beauty and The Naked Now.

19. When you’re blue … Find a sliver of light within the darkness from Sherry Richert Belul.

20. Actress has perfect response to body-shaming movie critic.

21. All Good Things on Pugly Pixel.

22. From Pugly Pixel’s Links Loved list: You’re doing a really great job, and TEDxConcordiaUPortland – Cheryl Strayed – Radical Sincerity, and The Elements of HTML.

23. Another New Rape Suit Against Bikram Choudhury Makes It the Sixth, and It Keeps Getting Worse.

24. Premiere: Ingrid Michaelson’s “Time Machine” Video Gets Gloriously Hijacked By Rainn Wilson And Donald Faison.

25. On Getting Older from Lisa Congdon.

26. Buddhism A-Z: Your Basic Buddhist Library.

27. 3-Year-Old Taekwondo Devotee Recites Student Creed, Slays Us With Cuteness.

28. A Body Story from Meg Worden.

29. 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, a page with links to all the posts written for this project.

30. “Oh, Kristen Wiig, why can’t you be in EVERY movie?”

31. CT Scan of 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue Reveals Mummified Monk Hidden Inside.

32. Calm.com

33. bohemian beach vibe on SF Girl by Bay. Why doesn’t my crappy, old, beat up stuff look this good?

34. A common “intuitive eating” pitfall from Isabel Foxen Duke.

35. The trolls inside from Seth Godin.

36. 300 awesome free things: A massive list of free resources you should know. (Thanks for sharing, Jen).

37. Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech on wage equality just won ALL the awards.

Something Good

 

bouldershambhalacenter1. Success Redefined from Rachel Cole.

2. Truthbomb #668 from Danielle LaPorte, “Surprise your doubts with action.”

3. Grace of Beginning, lines from a John O’Donohue poem shared by Erica Staab.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awake your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

4. Rewriting the Book of Belonging: Anne Lamott on the True Gift of Friendship and the Uncomfortable Art of Letting Yourself Be Seen on Brain Pickings.

5. All Good Things from Pugly Pixel.

6. Pulling the trigger, a final post on This (Sorta) Old Life. This happens sometimes, and it’s good to honor it. I’m going to miss it though.

7. A Meditative Moon Salutation from Yoga International.

8. Good stuff from Bored Panda: I Create Installations In Public Spaces To Bring People Happiness, and A Coworker Asked This Guy To Watch Her Plant For 4 Days. Here’s What He Did, and 20+ Mesmerizing Mosque Ceilings That Highlight The Wonders Of Islamic Architecture.

9. {After} thoughts on Wellness by Design.

10. Why Fame Doesn’t Matter, with Dallas Clayton.

11. Recipe for Brussels Sprout Fried Rice from Kris Carr.

12. Good stuff from Buzzfeed: 42 Pictures That Will Make You Almost Too Happy and 40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative.

13. Know where you have power, and where you do not have power, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

14. Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits.

15. “Every year, 750,000 Chinese die prematurely from pollution.” This post includes disturbing images and facts. Maybe just skip this one. It’s not so much “something good” as shocking and heartbreaking, but it was also weirdly helpful to me, inspired me to do better, make better choices.

16. The Next 5 Most Frustrating Things About Simplicity from Be More With Less.

17. The YES Movement on Painted Path.

18. My Plan for a Free and Open Internet from President Obama on Medium.

19. The Experience of Enough an interview with Geneen Roth.

20. Learning To Read Tarot Cards on Free People.

21. I’m Wanting What I Want. You? from Rachael Maddox.

22. Afterlight 1080, “a short hand made film that explores both one’s inherent darkness and one’s inherent lightness.”

23. Austin Kleon: Show your work, video of his talk from Confab Higher Ed 2014, available to watch streaming for two more weeks.

24. The Life Of A Project from Steal Like An Artist. Such a great graphic.

25. Shared on Positively Present Picks list: Love Yourself Pinterest board, and 5 Life Lessons to Learn From Your Dog, and this quote from Nelson Mandela, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

26. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list, Sausage, Potato, Kale Soup recipe.

27. Shared on Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links list, Amanda Palmer on the Art of Asking and What Thoreau Teaches Us about Accepting Love on Brain Pickings.

28. From Chookooloonks this was a good week post, A Solar-Powered Glow-in-the-dark Bike Path by Studio Roosegaarde Inspired by Van Gogh.

29. What I Learned From a 30-Day Social Media Detox on Medium.

30. Good stuff from Create as Folk: Purpose Profile: Sarah Selecky, and this shared link to a post on Saray Selecky’s blog, Be grateful for your crazy, active mind, and Quitting Your Job? Don’t Be Dumb.

31. The 10 Most Important Questions You Can Ask Yourself Today from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

32. Wisdom from Terry Tempest Williams, shared in Hannah Marcotti‘s weekly love letter,

For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. . .

When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.

33. Why You Creating Stuff Matters from Jennifer Louden.

34. The “Breakthrough” Myth from Isabel Foxen Duke, in which she says,

Sanity around food is not something that we achieve once and then never have to think about ever again…sanity around food is a meditation  — a thought pattern — that we practice coming back to again and again, watching that thought pattern feel more natural overtime.

Little by little, our sane thinking patterns become easier to come back to,

Until at some point, practicing our new way of thinking creates grooves in our mind and we don’t have to actively remember anymore, it’s just happening — a new natural way of being takes over.

35. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, on why to meditate,

Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness… [We] work with cultivating gentleness, innate precision, and the ability to let go of small-mindedness, learning how to open to our thoughts and emotions, to all the people we meet in our world, how to open our minds and hearts.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric, American Lakes trail

1. Wisdom from Ishita Gupta, “Every woman in the world knows what she needs in the moment. Whether or not she gives it to herself is the question.”

2. Yoga meets art — create a life you love, on Rebelle Society. I must be tender from my weekend of yoga teacher training because this made me cry. Another good one from Rebelle Society is 13 Awesome Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People, which gives one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read of ME.

3. A Map of the Introvert’s Heart by an Introvert on Medium. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t understand me, this might help.

4. Wisdom from Mary Oliver, because every once in a while I need the reminder,

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

5. Wisdom from Krishna Das,

We constantly limit ourselves with our emotions and our desires and our stories. When we identify with that stuff, we don’t experience what’s underneath it. The only way to move deeper into your own heart is by doing some kind of spiritual practice, regularly, over time. That’s what helps us experience real love and gives us the strength to manifest changes in our lives.

6. Fiercely Being from Jonathan Fields. This one is important. If you don’t click any other link on this week’s list, please follow and read this one. And just in case you are going to ignore my plea, here’s the line where I tear up and put my hand over my heart each time I read it because the beauty and truth are so clear it almost breaks my heart, “What if your metric was…’Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve.‘”

7. You Are Not Late, by Kevin Kelly on Medium, (thanks to Austin Kleon for sharing the link in his newsletter).

8. the lively show: radical sincerity & mental health advocacy with esmé weijun wang, (originally shared by Pugly Pixel).

9. Alone in the Wilderness, a documentary that “tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park…covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness.” We got this from the library a few times and loved it. Someone has now made the full film available on YouTube.

10. Good stuff from Seth Godin: This is ours and The easy ride.

11. Why scales make you binge-eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

12. I love Lisa Congdon’s Words for the Day. These are some of recent my favorites: No. 22, No. 23, and No. 30. And also from Lisa, a beautiful post about marriage, On Marriage :: A Year Later.

13. Good stuff from Jeff Oaks: Habit and Nothing.

14. What Makes You Feel Free? by Saundra Goldman, (link shared by Stephanie).

15. A Bank Uses Its ‘ATMs’ To Say Thanks To Regular Customers In The Most Personalized and Heartfelt Way. Hint: It wasn’t Bank of America.

16. Be Full of Yourself, from Julie Daley.

17. Choose love, and have it be that simple from Sandi Amorim.

18. Rekindle Your Love for Simplicity from Be More With Less.

19. 31 Benefits of Free-Writing from Cynthia Morris.

20. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Only seek to be more of yourself.”

21. Wisdom from “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers),” shared by Sandi Amorim,

This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

22. African cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time.

23. Urban Jewelry: Lace Street Art by NeSpoon shared on This is Colossal.

24. 10 Ways to Recognize Orthorexia on New York Magazine.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, (read the full piece here),

Bodhichitta exists on two levels. First there is unconditional bodhichitta, an immediate experience that is refreshingly free of concept, opinion, and our usual all-caught-upness. It’s something hugely good that we are not able to pin down even slightly, like knowing at gut level that there’s absolutely nothing to lose. Second there is relative bodhichitta, our ability to keep our hearts and minds open to suffering without shutting down.

Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors — not warriors who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic undistorted energy of bodhichitta. We have many examples of master warriors — people like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King — who recognized that the greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds. They devoted their lives to helping others understand this truth. There are also many ordinary people who spend their lives training in opening their hearts and minds in order to help others do the same. Like them, we could learn to relate to ourselves and our world as warriors. We could train in awakening our courage and love.

26. I took this quiz, Which Jung Archetype Best Describes You? and got “The Caregiver.”

Jung identified this archetype in many goddesses and female role models throughout history. You’re the mother figure: the selfless caregiver and helper. Everyone comes to you for advice. You truly love others as yourself and your greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. You manifest compassion and generosity. A Jungian psychologist would tell you to be careful not to be taken advantage of and never let yourself play the martyr.

27. Lacy M. Johnson on The Art of Mourning, on Essay Daily.

28. A young man asks a homeless man to borrow his bucket, what happens next will burst you into tears.

29. I think I fucked this up from The Bloggess.

30. Be Your Own Guru, a Good Life Project Jam Session, another really good thing from Jonathan Fields.

31. Courageous Company with Anna Guest-Jelley: Why Wearing a T-Shirt Might Have Changed My Life.

32. 10 Smarter and Less Stressful Ways to Get Your Daily Work Done on the Positivity Blog.

33. 16 Of The Most Magnificent Trees In The World on Bored Panda.

34. Good stuff from Zen Habits: Inhabit the Moment and How to Master the Art of Living.

35. Doing everything wrong: Shame, truth-telling, and writing it out on Visible and Real. This line especially, “And if I am not Worthy, I move in one of two directions: Complete Shutdown or Overperforming. {Either end of this pendulum is exhausting.}” Word.

36. One of my favorite projects is Humans of New York. Brandon has a new book coming out. He says about it,

Little Humans is coming out in almost two months, and the first hardcopy has just arrived! It is awesome. Your child is guaranteed to giggle, point, and cheer. And if test readings are any indication, there is a 38.53% chance you will cry. It comes out October 7th — very excited about it.

37. Note from the Universe,

The absolute, most sure-fire way of physically moving in the direction of your dreams, Jill, on a day-to-day basis, without messing with the “cursed hows,” is living them, now, to any degree that you can.

38. Really good stuff from Medium: After (one of the best things I’ve ever read about the loss of a pet), and My Cousin is Not a Hero.

39. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

40. Dealing with anger before it deals with you from Paul Jarvis.

41. A Blessing from Ronna Detrick,

When you have questions, look to love. When you have doubts, turn toward love. When you wonder about next steps, let love be the deciding factor. And when you fear how it will all work out, trust in love.

I know it feels fearful to risk (and love) in these ways. I know you long for the certainty that the love you give will offer you the same in return. And I know that without guarantees, without promises, and without thought for your own safety, you will love anyway. It’s who you are. It’s what you do. And it’s the story for which you are known and named.

Speak. Risk. Stand. And love and love and love.

Something Good

latestaprilmorning031. Wisdom from a blessing from Ronna Detrick,

I kept myself busy with so many responsibilities. I took them on because they needed to be done, but more, because they seemed like the best way to keep from feeling crazy. When I slowed down, when I rested, when I stopped, my mind fought against the silence, the space, the calm. But, in truth, silence, space, and calm was what my heart wanted most; what I needed most. It took time, but I learned that it’s not in working harder, faster, or smarter; but in sitting, resting, and leaning that feeling crazy eventually vanishes, that transformation comes, that love shows up.

2. Shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: On How to Approach Strangers on the Street from Humans of New York, and Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells.

3. Pain is Part of Being Human: 4 Lessons to Help Reduce Suffering on Tiny Buddha.

4. Wisdom 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.”

5. Good stuff on Medium: Paul Moved Into My Apartment Seeking a Fresh Start. Then He Died, and How to Bounce Back After Burning Out, and 7 Things You Need to Stop Doing to Be More Productive, Backed By Science.

6. Vega Cottage, shared on Friday Finds by SF Girl by Bay. This is the kind of place I live in my dreams.

7. 3 ways to create a blog you love, good advice from Lune, by way of Pugly Pixel.

8. Truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte: “Show the universe how much you love yourself,” and “You’re on the verge of a miracle.” They seem related, don’t they? And, Can’t decide which idea to pursue? Here’s THE key question + 10 more to help you choose, also from Danielle.

9. PaperSync, a company that will digitize your handwritten journals.

10. The Miracle of the Self-Compassion Habit from Zen Habits.

11. A Master’s in Chick Lit on The New York Times Opinion Pages.

12. 10 Simple Ways to Worry Less from Be More With Less.

13. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

Emotional eating is an attempt to avoid the absence (of love, comfort, knowing what to do) when we find ourselves in the desert of a particular moment, feeling, situation. In the process of resisting the emptiness, in the act of turning away from our feelings, of trying and trying again to lose the same twenty, fifty, eighty pounds, we ignore what could utterly transform us.

But when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we evoke that in us that is not a story, not caught in the past, not some old image of ourselves. We evoke divinity itself. And in doing so, we can hold emptiness, old hurts, fear in our cupped hands and behold our missing hearts.

14. Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos – Episode 1.

15. How to get lucky by Mark Morford, (thanks for sharing this, Laurie).

16. Cute Alaskan Malamute asks his human to play on Dog Heirs.

17. Super Soul Short: Inside the Mind Behind Mutts, (my favorite comic strip). One of my favorite parts of this video was this:

“The closer we grow to our inner light, the more we feel the natural urge to share that light with others. The meaning of work, whatever its form, is that it be used to heal the world. Love is the most powerful fuel in any endeavor. The most important question to ask about any work is ‘How does this serve the world?’”

~quote from a desk calendar, April 20, that hangs over artist and creator of the Mutts comic strip Patrick McDonnell’s desk, which he paraphrases as “Love is the most important thing in any endeavor.”

18. Suspended Fields of Flowers from Rebecca Louise Law on Visual News.

19. Parents call cops on teen for giving away banned book; it backfires predictably on Death and Taxes.

20. 30 Problems That Only Introverts Will Understand. #17 Is So True It Hurts, (thanks for sharing, Jeff).

21. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

At some point, we need to stop identifying with our weaknesses and shift our allegiance to our basic goodness. It’s highly beneficial to understand that our limitations are not absolute and monolithic, but relative and removable.

22. Wisdom from Eve Ensler,

An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power or money or fame, but in fact is driven slightly mad by some injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness, so much so that he or she is compelled by some internal moral engine to act to make it better.

23. In one of the latest Hopeful World newsletters, Jen Lemen described what would happen first if you decided love is the most important thing. About what comes next, she says,

This is what must come next. The breaking. Because without it your heart will be two sizes too small, and you cannot have a small heart for the kind of love that is waiting for you. No. Your heart will have to be much bigger, much, much bigger. So big that some of the places in it will be empty. So big that the outer exterior of it will not seal the insides completely, so that someone passing by who would like to peek in will actually be able to make out your shadow in between the cracks where the light gets in.

This big cracked heart will be needed for your new life, for all the love that is waiting, so the little heart has to go. Don’t despair when you feel it breaking. Breaking is reserved for the most lion-hearted among us, and you are of that number. Didn’t you realize? We knew it from the second we saw you, acting so foolishly for your ridiculous, far-fetched dreams.

Jen is one of the only people who can give me the bad news, the hard truth, and I feel okay about it. Part of me wants to share the whole newsletter with you, but instead I’ll just tell you to sign up to get it in your own inbox.

24. How to write to someone you admire + become their BFF. (And why maybe … you shouldn’t.) from Alexandra Franzen.

25. 18 Reasons to Give Up Trying to Live Up to Everyone’s Expectations from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

26. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, in which she says,

Don’t wait for the world to clear out time and space for your dreams and your art. It doesn’t happen that way. The world rushes in, and always will. Wait for things to be perfect and you’ll die waiting. Push back a bit. You go get yourself a kitchen timer and clear out your own little space. You’ll be amazed what happens.

Every single day. 30 minutes. I’m serious.

Word.

Something Good

1. 31 Unmistakable Signs That You’re An Introvert on BuzzFeed.

2. Working with the Obstacles in Your Path and 6 Steps To Being More Creative on Zen Habits.

3. less stuff, less stress: 6 steps to declutter + destress on Positively Present.

4. Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes on BBC News Magazine. If I were planning on having kids, I might start looking into moving to Finland.

5. Sad Dog Diary from ZeFrank.

6. Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was on Messy Nessy. I feel like I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth another look. It’s a fascinating story, and as a relatively unknown artist myself, for me it is a terrifying story, (to die and have no one know about your work?!).

7. dipping my toes in the ladypreneurial pond, useful and good real advice from Sas Petherick.

8. “My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness.” ~Virginia Woolf. Yes, yes it does.

9. your daily rock : be gentle with your self, from Patti Digh.

10. Eye Candy: The Pantone Project on Pugly Pixel. This project is so cool, and I have since started following the photographer, Paul Octavious, on Instagram and his other work is worth a look as well.

11. Kaleidoscape: A Study in Double Symmetry, a really cool “museum exhibition and social furniture project,” (led in part by Andrea Scher‘s super talented husband, Matthew Passmore).

12. The 5000th post from Seth Godin. “For me, the privilege is sharing what I notice, without the pressure of having to nail it every time… I treasure the ability to say, ‘this might not work.’ ” I’ve written 710 posts, can’t even imagine 5000, and yet I absolutely understand what he’s saying here. As a writing practice, there’s really nothing like it.

13. Becoming Well-Fed with Soulsister, Rachel Cole on the Soul Sisters Gathering website.

14. This wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.

15. 20 More Baby Animals That’ll Make You Say “Aww” from Bored Panda.

16. Good advice from Franz Kafka, “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

17. Tumblr Gets Deep (25 Pics) on Pleated Jeans. There is a whole series of these posts, super funny and addictive. I don’t recommend going too deep into them if you don’t have a lot of time. I myself could get lost there, forever happy in funny land.

18. H&M’s NBD Approach To Plus-Size Model Shocks, Astounds World, on xojane, which says, “How to be beautiful naked: stand in front of a mirror, naked, and say to yourself, ‘My body is as unique as I am. It does not, and will not ever, look like any other body on earth, and that’s why it’s my favorite.’ ” I love that, couldn’t agree more, and yet am still bothered by the fact that “Jennie Runk is a size 10, which equals plus size for the purpose of the modeling industry.” Ugh.

19. Joy, a post Lisa Congdon wrote about her wedding, in which she says, “I have never felt so totally whole as I did that afternoon & evening.” I want this, for everyone.

20. This wisdom from Geneen Roth,

I was remembering yesterday what one of my beloved teachers once told me: that I was protecting myself from losses that already happened. I was remembering this because I was noticing how my mind tilts toward catastrophe, how even when things are fine, I look for how they are not. And remembering that the big losses, the ones that I was helpless and small and utterly unprepared for had already happened, allowed me to come back to the present. Which was good.

It’s not that losses don’t happen in the present. It’s not that there isn’t sadness or grief here. They do and there is. But as adults, it’s different. It’s different when you keep imagining how horrible it is or will be than when you are right in the middle of sadness or grief. As children, we might not have been able to get comfort. There might not have been anyone to whom we could truly speak or be ourselves. As adults, we have love in our lives. Our hearts break, and then they break open. And more comes in. Notice how you protect yourself from losses that have already happened. Notice how that closes your heart. Notice if, today, you can be with the raw beauty, and sometimes, broken-heartedness of the moment.

21. The Hidden Cost of Doing the Wrong Work on Create as Folk. This post cuts right through the crap and gets to the heart of the issue.

22. fed by everything, a poem by Tara Sophia Mohr, which ends like this,

In the end
maybe enlightenment
is a matter of being fed
by everything

23. Books to Inspire your Be Your Own Beloved Journey! from Vivienne McMaster. I already have some of these, but there are a few that are new to me, ones I clearly need to read.

24. 41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius on BuzzFeed.

25. Recipe I want to try: Grilled Polenta Cakes from Campfire Vegan.

26. Allison Mae Photography does it again. These two dogs remind me so much of my Sam and Dexter.

27. Trade Up for Your Best Life on Be More with Less.

28. Shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list:

29. 30 Places You’d Rather Be Sitting Right Now on BuzzFeed. I don’t know about “rather be sitting” but they are pretty awesome.

30. Sarah DeAnna: Breaking the Cycle on The Conversation.

31. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list:

32. Pat the Cat. Reminds me of my Sam.

33. Wisdom from Marianne Williamson, “The ways of spirit are not the ways of sacrifice, but rather a way of opening yourself fully to the infinite glories of the universe. The glories are there. They merely await your acceptance.”

34. Patti Digh’s story about Tess on 3x3x365 is so sweet, so heartbreaking. Tess has Asperger’s Syndrome and Patti is generous enough to share her story. Watching that little girl walk through the world, navigate the bumps and the joy, is a beautiful thing.

35. “After I’ve lost 20 pounds, I’ll be happy with who I am.” on Elephant Journal.

36. 27 Stunning Works Of Art You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photographs on BuzzFeed.

37. Two more from Brain Pickings: Do It: 20 Years of Famous Artists’ Irreverent Instructions for Art Anyone Can Make and How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Presence Over Productivity.

38. The 32 Greatest Unscripted Movie Scenes.

39. 24 Grooms Blown Away By Their Beautiful Brides on BuzzFeed. *sob*

40. The Life’s Too Short Diet on Drop It and Eat, in which Lori F. Lieberman says “Don’t be fooled into believing that you’ll be happier if only you weighed a few pounds less, because it’s simply a moving target.”

41. This wisdom from Sakyong Mipham, “If humanity is to survive – and not only that, to flourish – we must be brave enough to find our wisdom and let it shine.”

42. A Mood from Jeff Oaks, in which he says “Breathe until the feeling of being buried brings the need to break open.” As I said in a comment I left on this post, “The way that you are able to almost hide something so profound in the relating of the details of your daily life is a particular kind of magic.”

43. 50 Things to Love about Life That Are Free on Tiny Buddha.

44. What’s Wrong with Me? from Curvy Yoga.

Something Good

For those of you who are new to my blog, here’s the story behind my Something Good posts: When I am feeling bad, I will often ask my husband Eric to “tell me something good.” When I need something to hang on to, to make me feel better, something to show me that it’s not all bad. When I am in that dark hole, way down at the bottom, and the mean things with teeth are down there with me –”tell me something good.”

He’s really good at it, because even when all he can think of is “I love you,” it totally works. I mean, how great is it that the person that you picked and who said “yes” almost 20 years ago, and knows you better than anyone, knows all the embarrassing and ugly stuff, continues to love you? He usually is able to give me a whole list when I ask him, followed by a hug and “what can I do for you, how can I make you feel better?”

So on A Thousand Shades of Gray, Monday’s feature is: Something Good. I like the idea of gratitude generating joy, and the opportunity my gratitude has to spread joy when I share the good things, so every Monday, I give you a list.

Here’s this week’s list:

1. 5 Plants You (Almost) Never Have to Water on House Logic.

2. Stunning Self-Portraits by a 14-year-old Photographer on Bored Panda.

3. Diana Fayt’s Painted Rocks (& Other Lovely Things) from Lisa Congdon.

4. Be Brave: A Poem-Film for Anyone Asking for Courage to Create from Jeffrey Davis.

5. Cute Pets in Windows from Bold Italics, originally shared by Rachel.

6. Reflections on Fearlessness and Best Links (May), a great list of good stuff from Sandra at Always Well Within, (confession: one of my posts is on the list).

7. Reason to Forgive | DubStep, video of a 12 year old who is an amazing dancer.

8. You’re not needy. You’re starving. from Rachel Cole. Amazing.

9. Out of the water from Lisa Bonchek Adams.

10. Patrick Stewart Speaks About His Childhood, Domestic Abuse and PTSD. The woman involved in this specific moment wrote about it on her blog as well, Let me tell you a thing, about an amazing man named Patrick Stewart.

11. This message from Brave Girls Club came just when I needed it,

Dear Sweet Girl,

You don’t have to have special permission to take a break, you know. You have done enough. When you are tired, and weary and feeling worn out, you need to be kind to yourself and take good care of your body and your spirit.

Please be good to yourself, beautiful friend . . . the world is not the same without the best of you. The people that you love the most have better lives because of you and the people you have not even met yet will have enriched lives because of you.

Your life will be better, happier, more effective, more efficient and more meaningful if you stop and take care of yourself. No more putting guilt trips on yourself or letting anyone else do it. No more working yourself so hard that you can’t even feel anymore . . . it’s time to REALLY nurture and take care of yourself. You are a gift to the world, please take care of YOU. Today’s a great day to start.

12. There’s Just No Time from Paul Jarvis, shared by Laura of Create as Folk.

13. Rijks Museum Free Hi-Res Art Downloads shared by Pugly Pixel.

14. Introducing Prancercise, just silly enough to be kind of awesome.

15. Be the Giver from Danielle LaPorte.

16. 9 Rules for a Simpler Day from Zen Habits.

17. What is Your Gift to the World? on Scoutie Girl.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Tigers Above, Tigers Below: There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.

19. 7 Things You Need to Stop Doing Every Day from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

20. Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags from Decor8.

21. Celebrate and Embrace Ventures and Adventures from Be More with Less.

22. Her Lilac Jacket on SouleMama. The sweetest pictures! This one is my favorite, (her little hand!).

23. Racists Very Upset Over Interracial Family in Cute Cheerios Commercial. The little girl in this commercial is super cute. Someone posted on Facebook last week about this and added, “Whomever has a problem with this better just go buy a white hood right now and be honest with yourself.” I couldn’t agree more.

24. it’s complicated from Sas Petherick. *sigh*

25. Inside the Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Treasure trove finally revealed after owner locked up and fled at outbreak of WWII.

26. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : what would love do?, and your daily rock : just breathe, and your daily rock : you are enough.

27. Name-calling Has Its Place: BED is Now Named as a Distinct Eating Disorder. So what’s in it for you? from Drop it and Eat.

28. Another Origami Fox from How About Orange. I wish I was better at this. I’d be making some of these, (shared by Positively Present).

29. This quote, People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. ~Iris Murdoch

peoniesonmydesk02

30. Google Poetics, (shared by Positively Present). “This blog started collecting Google Poems on October 2012 and is run by its founder Sampsa Nuotio and curator Raisa Omaheimo. Google Poetics is born when Google autocomplete suggestions are viewed as poems.” I could get lost in this site for a very, very long time. For example,

pain is temporary
pain is weakness leaving the body
pain is inevitable suffering is optional
pain is love

Or,

I am a disco dancer
I am a dwarf and I’m digging a hole
I am a dynamic figure
I am a dreamer

Pure awesome.

31. Patti Smith, We all have a creative impulse, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list. The site where this video is posted, Channel Louisiana, has lots of other really cool stuff, if you want to get lost for a little while and haven’t already spent all your time on Google Poetics. Also on Susannah’s list this week was What’s Inside Our “Going Out” Bags.

32. Humans of New York. I’ve shared this site before, but it’s so good, I want to share it again in case you missed it the first time. You can also follow them on Facebook.

33. Issa Rae: Own Your Awkward on The Conversation.

34. From Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links post: A Revolution of Contentment by Sandra Pawula on the Bridgemaker, and Chic Tiny House in Omaha Nebraska on Air BnB, (the loft beds in tiny houses always make me think of sleeping in a tree house — magic).

35. My Dentist Was Made To Believe I Was Dead And It Made Me Realize Why I Shouldn’t Kill Myself And You Shouldn’t Either on xojane.

36. This wisdom from Marianne Williamson, “The kind of rest you seek you will find not from sleeping but from waking.”

37. This Poster Might Just Change Your Life. by Nicole Duncan on Elephant Journal.

38. This wisdom from Lama Christie McNally, The Tibetan Book of Meditation,

Tibetans say we should do our meditation practice “as if our hair was on fire.” We should have the same urgency to get out of this pain filled place as someone who has just woken up in a burning, smoke filled house. But it’s hard- all the distractions of this life keep stealing away our time and our mind. We keep telling ourselves, “I’ll meditate later.” Then one day you look up and realize life has passed you by, the time is gone, and it’s too late.

39. This wisdom from Jen Lemen, “I don’t want to be famous or popular or known for anything other than that I was deep and wise and had a soul that was wildly beautiful, full of mercy and light.”

40. Amanda Palmer on Creativity as Connecting Dots and the Terrifying Joy of Sharing Your Art Online and Be All Your Selves: Joss Whedon’s 2013 Wesleyan Commencement Address on Embracing Our Inner Contradictions on Brain Pickings.

41. Quotes shared by Justine Musk, You cannot truly enjoy life through your mind…It’s through the heart + the body that we get to party,” (Kagiso Msimango), and “There’s nothing more powerful than a woman who has met the truth inside her. Nothing,” (Meggan Jane Watterson).

42. Are Children Natural Vegans? by Sara Crolick on Elephant Journal.

43. This quote from Cheryl Stayed, “That silence is such a beautiful thing. It’s like the stars at night in the great alone and you there beneath them, saying thank you.”

44. Karma and Smartphones: How to Use Technology From a Buddhist Perspective, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche on Huffington Post.

45. Dog People Problems, from Reddit.

goodmorning

46. 2 year old problems: cinnamon rolls aren’t instant, from Reddit.

twoyearoldproblems

47. Wisdom from Chogyam Trungpa,

Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquility, nor is it attempting to be a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes.

48. Father and 2-year-old boy sing Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ in viral hit.

49. Let go … again, still, more from Lindsey on A Design So Vast.

50. The Pros and Cons (But Mostly Pros) of Adopting a Shelter Dog on Hello Giggles.

51. you are worthy. from Liz Lamoreux.

52. Feeding the Right Wolf, with Marianne Elliot on Sacred Circle.

53. The Big Book Giveaway! from Susannah Conway. This is a great set of books, some of my favorites! You should totally enter this, (but just know, I plan on winning the Book Bomb).

bigbookgiveaway

P.S. I think this might officially be the longest Something Good list e v e r.

Something Good

1. In honor of Memorial Day: Memorial Day: an open letter to our troops on the topic of bravery from Lisa Adams, and Shambhala Mountain Center is offering a special, extended weekend retreat for veterans and their families from August 1-4. “Outer War, Inner Peace will create a safe and intimate setting for discussions and a variety of mindfulness practices, including gentle and powerful healing work with horses. Scholarships are available.” Please share with anyone you think might benefit from this program.

2. New Hyperrealistic Sculptures by Ron Mueck on Bored Panda. So freaky.

3. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Clean & Save Green from Kris Carr.

4. Why it’s so hard to be good (and how to begin) from Sayta on Writing Our Way Home. This one really has me thinking.

5. 26 Steps to Living a Life You Love from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

6. Oklahoma Tornado Survivor Finds Missing Dog During Live Interview.
Instead of reading about all the scary, sad, terrible things, I watched this video.

7. The Obstacle is the Path on Zen Habits. I know this, but sometimes I forget. It’s good to be reminded.

8. Simplify Your Life and Quiet Your Mind on The Spin Cycle and Your Definitive Summer Slow Down Guide on Be More With Less. Courtney Carver’s posts end up on this list almost every week. Maybe I should just put a permanent list item that says “Read Be More with Less.” She’s also doing a Charity:Water campaign for her birthday, because she’s awesome.

9. “Fortunately, it is not required for happiness.” 7 words to re-focus your mind on what matters. from Alexandra Franzen. Same here — maybe you should just take it for granted that I will be telling you every week to read something Alexandra has written, consider it a standing order?

10. Indie Kindred Trailer, a documentary by Jen Lee. Can’t wait to see it.

11. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh: your daily rock : be selfish sometimes and your daily rock : trust yourself.

12. Luke’s Barely Habitable, a video tour of a 78-square-foot live/work apartment in Manhattan. He pays the same amount for rent as my mortgage on an 1100 square foot house. Every video like this inspires me to downsize, start getting rid of stuff, get clear about what I really need.

13. 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, a set of gorgeous pictures.

14. This wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

Whether one believes in a religion
or not, and whether one believes
in rebirth or not, there isn’t
anyone who doesn’t appreciate
kindness and compassion.

We are all the same — we just want to be happy and safe.

15. Super Summer Challange on Back to Her Roots. This would be super fun and of benefit, if I weren’t already doing one million other things, (yes, I said one million).

16. From Couch Potato to One of the World’s Fittest Menon Forks Over Knives — also very inspiring but probably not something I’m going to do this summer.

17. lisa congdon : THink — a glimpse into the studio + creative world of the artist from Woodnote Photography. I love Lisa Congdon, her art and her story, and love to hear the stories behind people’s tattoos, so this interview is a win/win.

18. My diet secret…The ONLY diet you will ever need! from Kute Blackson. If you have body or food issues, if you struggle, you have got to read this post, watch the video. What Kute has to say here is spot on, and he delivers his message with a huge smile and a ton of energy. Watch it. I’m not kidding. You can thank me later.

19. Creative Living with Jamie: Eric Maisel, Jamie’s weekly podcast interview with a creative person. I mention it this week for a special reason — that Jill she refers to at the very end is ME! But seriously, if you are a creative type, do yourself a favor and take a look at her podcast archive.

20. Convos with my 2-Year-Old, Episode OneI have it on good authority that this video is pretty accurate, not just of this guy’s 2 year old, but of kids in general.

21. roots, on Doorways Traveler, where Lisa Field-Elliot shares this poem,

Allow, by Dana Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

22. This wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut,

Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

Which is good news, because apparently, according to this comic, I am an artist.

you-might-be-an-artist-if-640

23. Fear & Loathing on Facebookfrom Real Mom Nutrition.

24. How buying a pair of mom pants led to an epiphany from Wellness by Design. All I have to say in response to this is amen, and thank you.

25. Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe unlocked and on display after nearly 60 years.

26. When she comes home from a long day at school, having a bad day, been told off or sad… She cuddles her best friend. This was on Reddit, and I’m totally in love with it. It makes me wish my dogs were a tiny bit bigger.

girlandbestfriend

27. From Your Inner Pilot Light,

When you notice a sensation or symptom in your body, that’s me talking to you, my love. You know that, right? Sometimes you can be a wee bit stubborn. Sometimes you don’t listen when I whisper. Sometimes I have to get scrappy and start bellowing at you in ways I know will catch your attention. Don’t make me yell, my love.

28. Here’s How Austin Kleon Writes on Copy Blogger. At one point, Austin shares this John Cleese quote, “Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating.”

29. Busy Philipps on The Conversation talking about body image.

30. Cabin Porn, shared by SF Girl by Bay. I could get really lost in this site.

31. Freebie | Ephemera from Goodnight Little Spoon, shared by Pugly Pixel.

32. 22 Ways To Get Your Vegan Snack Attack On from oh she glows, shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list.

33. Avocado Frozen Yogurt recipe, shared by Kind Over Matter.

34. 70 Cutie Baby Animals Bring You a Good Mood, shared by Positively Present.

35. How to Dance Properly, shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend post. Oh my, this brings back memories and brought up lots of laughs.

36. Shared by Tammy on her Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Three Essential Elements of Personal Power on Always Well Within (I found this super interesting because what she’s describing is what I would call basic goodness), Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers on Brain Pickings, and My writing practise on Beautiful Again.

37. 21 Love Lessons They Didn’t Teach You in School from Rebelle Society.

38. 10 Best Cases of On Air Giggles from Hello Giggles.