Category Archives: Rachael Maddox & the Traveling Soul Circus

Something Good


1. This description of a good writer, from Isaac Asimov, “You are my idea of a good writer because you have an unmannered style, and when I read what you write, I hear you talking.”

2. Something you may need to hear today from Kat McNally.

3. To Succeed, Forget Self-Esteem, a post about self-compassion on, of all places, Harvard Business Review (?!)

4. On being copied from Andrea Schroeder, in which she says “people aren’t buying your product or service on its own – they’re buying your product or service animated by your creative essence.”

5. 36 Things You Will Naturally Understand If You’re From Colorado on BuzzFeed. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with all of these, and don’t get the childhood references since I didn’t grow up here, but it’s pretty funny.

6. Brave Love, “A love-based case for the what’s right in the world, curated by Brit Hanson.”

7. 30 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Die.

8. Sacred Love: 12 Things at the Bottom of Everything** from Rachel Maddox. P.S. There’s still time to donate to her Traveling Soul Circus project.

9. The Five Buddha Families and 10 Reasons why Buddhism is Better than your Religion on Elephant Journal.

10. Erica Staab shares a beautiful poem, Clearing by Martha Postlewaite.

11. From Brave Girls Club,

Beautiful, true, important things almost always take a long time to come to fruition. There are often very long stretches that are tedious, thankless, difficult and hard to measure. We get tired and that makes us weak and vulnerable to things that hurt our feelings or make us want to stop trying. There are often points in the journey when we feel absolutely alone, misunderstood and even cast out. There are sometimes points in our journey when we just want to be alone…and that is hard to explain to people we love. Making progress is not easy, is it?

With all of that in mind, however…think even more seriously about how miserable it is to stay stagnant. Think of how awful it feels to know in our hearts that we are meant for something, but to continue to ignore it, run away from it….or stay stuck just looking at it in fear.

12. The Well-Fed Woman: Tara Sophia Mohr on Rachel Cole’s blog, in which Tara describes something I know all too well, in a way I hadn’t quite figured out how to say it yet:

I grew up making art of all kinds – but when I went to college I couldn’t find a way to create comfortably in the highly competitive, hierarchical environment there. My center drifted over to my more intellectual, left-brain side, and that became my comfort zone. The more I was centered there, the harder it was to create. I became very, very afraid making art – so frozen in my creativity, afraid of failure, afraid of “not being good.”

13. Also on Rachel Cole’s blog, a brilliant reframing of perfection, The New (Im)perfection.

14. rodrigo y gabriela, and a lesson in passion on Chookooloonks.

15. your daily rock : love what you do

16. ZenPen: Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth, a great new offering from Courtney Putnam, a six week writing ecourse. I swore I wasn’t taking any more ecourses, needed to put my energy into creating my own, but this one makes that vow so hard to keep.

This microcourse, How to Create a Microbusiness that Matters, from Courtney Carver at Be More With Less, is also making this promise a tough one to keep.

17. “Often I busy myself trying to find the key – and fail to notice the door has no lock.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

18. The August Break with Susannah Conway is back! I’m in.

19. how joy is a toughie for me from Jessica Swift.

20. My Dog Got Kicked Out Of Daycare Today.

21. Rachel Cole linked to a song in her Midsummer’s Joy post, and I was so happy, not realizing that Mary Lambert, the gorgeous female voice on Macklemore’s “Same Love,” had her own full song, She Keeps Me Warm. I bought her EP Letters Don’t Talk and have been listening to it on repeat (it’s only five songs).

22. Note from the Universe,

Dreams come true, Jill, that’s what they do. The only variable is when. For the slow approach: Resist. Attach. Insist. Deny. Stop. Second guess. Whine. Argue. Defend. Protest. Cry. Struggle. And ask others, when you know the answer yourself. For the quick approach: Visualize. Pretend. Prepare. Dodge. Roll. Serpentine. Do not waiver over intentions, but over methods. Show up, even when nothing happens. And give thanks in advance. You knew that.

24. This wisdom from Henri Nouwen and his book Turning My Mourning into Dancing, (shared by Satya in Writing Our Way Home’s newsletter),

I am gradually learning that the call to gratitude asks us to say, “Everything is grace.” As long as we remain resentful about things we wish had not happened, about relationships that we wish had turned out differently, mistakes we wish we had not made, part of our heart remains isolated, unable to bear fruit in the new life ahead of us. It is a way we hold part of ourselves apart from God.


25. Your Permanent Record from Seth Godin, in which he says, “Perfect can’t possibly be the goal, we’re left with generous, important and human instead.” Also from Seth, People like us do stuff like this.

26. A birds-eye view of this right now {Just One Paragraph 4/30} from Christina Rosalie, in which she says, “Time is a trickster. A torrent one minute, then a slow as honey crawl the next.”

27. Amazing Plant Sculptures at the Montreal Mosaiculture Exhibition 2013 on Bored Panda.

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.”