Category Archives: Sadness

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, ending with such a good question,

This morning, as I begin preparing for our twice yearly retreat, I remembered something that I realized years ago, when I was struggling with my own weight challenges: that until and unless I wanted something more than I wanted to be thinner, I would never lose weight and keep it off. Not in a way that didn’t include deprivation and judgment. For myself, I had to want to know what was at the bottom of my eating. I had to want to touch that hunger. To become aware that the whole thing wasn’t really about food, but about something much more profound–and it was that that I had to want to touch, know, heal. Once I did that (and it was a process, not a one-time event), the weight came off, and stayed off for all these years.

So–what do you want more than you want to lose weight? What do you really really want?

2. 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy.

3. Sustainability and the Sacred on Huffington Post, in which Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee says,

If we are to sustain this world of wonder, what is essential in our response is not just action but a shift in consciousness, a shift away from seeing the Earth as something separate from ourselves, as a resource to be used and abused. Real sustainability is not the sustainability of our present lifestyle — our image of progress and economic growth — but the sustainability of a sacred Earth, rich in biodiversity and wonder.

4. How I see my dog vs. how my dog sees me on The Oatmeal.

5. A Short Study in Insurrection, Jennifer Boykin on Jonathan Fields’ blog.

6. New Wheels & a Lesson in Confidence from Vivienne McMaster.

7. “The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It’s wholeheartedness.” ~ David Whyte

8. Love your sadness. It won’t last. from Danielle LaPorte.

9. Jessica Jackley: Poverty, money — and love, a TED Talk by the founder of Kiva.org. The last few minutes of this talk are amazing.

10. HSP That’s Me from Hannah Marcotti.

11. Coverflip: Maureen Johnson Calls For An End To Gendered Book Covers With An Amazing Challenge (IMAGES)

12. Daily Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “You can always find someone who thinks you’re an idiot. Speak up any way.”

13. The Forest House, East Sussex. I posted about this last week, but this week SF Girl by Bay shared even more of the pictures, along with a link to the original site with the full set. I want to go to there.

14. New paintings from Paul Bond. The way he describes Eleanor Dreams of a Miraculous Rescue, made me tear up. You see, I know the real Eleanor, who I called Danger Baby and now Danger Kid, because every time I see her, I want one just like her. I am going to happily settle for a print of this painting instead. Paul says this about it,

The resulting scene became a story of innocence. Of a child’s belief that she can always protect and nurture those things that she loves the most. And a prayer that the adult Eleanor’s of the world never stop cherishing whatever calls to them.

Eleanor_Dreams_of_a_Miraculous_Rescue_30x30_Oil15. Notes on being a hermit from Susannah Conway.

16. What’s in my pantry? from Kris Carr.

17. In Praise of Safety by Rachel Cole.

18. Depression Part Two from Hyperbole and a Half. And if that sounds like too much for you, read one of the funniest posts she ever wrote, Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving.

19. This is Water, a cool video using David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon commencement speech.

20. Wisdom shared by Justine Musk on Facebook,

“What makes the content you create awesome is that it’s a story told through your unique lens. It’s you, telling a story. It’s you not giving a fuck about anything but telling that story.” ~Paul Jarvis

21. Shared in Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday post, recipe for Strawberry Balsamic and Olive Oil Breakfast Cake on Food52.

22. Pumpcast News, Part 1 – The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I want to be friends with these people.

23. Sunni Chapman’s design site, Salty Olive Design. *sob* #itissobeautiful Does anyone have $7000 they’d want to give me so Sunni could build me a website?

24. Sad Cat Diary by Ze Frank

25. Reflections on the Road Back from Insanity on Elephant Journal by Kara-Leah Grant, who gives one of the best descriptions of yoga, ever.

It’s about connection. It’s about being open. It’s about being vulnerable and true and courageous.

It’s about yoga as a path to self-realization.

Not one blinding flash when we suddenly become enlightened.

But those small moments of self-realization that happen every time we step on the yoga mat. When another illusion drops away. Another samskara dissolves. Another insight arises.

That’s what it’s about. That’s what yoga as a path to self-realization means.

We realize, moment by moment, all that we are not. And one day, when all that we are not drops away… there we are.

26. Stop Caring What Others Think and Stand Up for Your Dogs on Notes from a Dog Walker. I say amen.

27. Another interview from The Conversation, Ashley Madekwe.

28. 3D Face Masks Created from DNA Found in Public Spaces. So freaky.

29. Celebrating Grandmas and Their Cuisine From Around the World.

30. Show Your Work! My Creative Mornings Talk from Austin Kleon.

31. Amy Seeley singing Beloved, frogs and bugs and maybe crickets singing in the background. No matter the version, the piano in this song wrecks me.

32. 7 Behaviors to Stop Tolerating in Others from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I would add that these are behaviors we should also attempt to stop doing ourselves.

33. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” ~Bruce Lee

34. your daily rock : come as you are

35. This wisdom from Thubten Chodron: Wishing others to be happy doesn’t mean we give them everything they want, because sometimes what they want can be harmful. Wishing them to be happy entails wanting them to be free from pain and loneliness.

36. Fat Shame, (btw: there is language, but I love what she has to say).

There is Only Now

samatgreyrock

Eric took Sam hiking at Greyrock this morning. Dexter had coughed once last night, woke up around midnight and in my sleepy Mom mind was having trouble settling back down, so I got on the couch with him until he fell asleep. Then this morning, he coughed another time. Eric had planned to take him hiking again (they went yesterday), but we decided maybe Dexter shouldn’t go–even though we know that if Dexter had only one day left, he’d choose to spend it hiking rather than resting. Eric took both dogs on a short run before leaving with Sam. Dexter was so energized when they got back, so happy, watching so hopefully as Eric put things in his backpack, I almost changed my mind about him not going, but in the end he stayed with me.

Writing in my journal this morning after they left, I was considering the situation we are in. It was over a month ago when Dexter went on a hike, got a bloody nose, and I felt this same anxiety, thinking “this might be it, the last week, the final days” but I was wrong. What’s hard about a terminal illness is you are ready, waiting for it to be over, and yet you fear the end, wish it would never come. You suffer living with the mantra “he’s dying, he’s dying, he’s dying,” but you also feel a spike of anxiety and despair whenever something shifts, “oh no! he’s dying!”

It came to me in my morning meditation that the only answer is now, in this moment, in staying present. Nothing else works or makes sense–not numbing out, not running away, no method of escape or resistance, no hoping for something different or wishing for something better, no clinging to what’s positive or thinking only happy thoughts and rejecting the rest–you simply have to stay, be here now, live/love in this moment.

Presence and mindfulness and awareness are the only real medicine–the sound of my pen scratching on the paper, the thump and hum of the dryer, the sound of the dog asleep next to me breathing, the warmth and shelter and light, the ink in the pen and the blank pages in the journal and the air in my lungs, my body that remembers to pump and breathe without needing my interference, my bones and muscles doing what they do to keep me upright and writing, my eyes seeing, my brain processing language, knowing what word comes next and how to form it. This is all there is, and even it isn’t solid or fixed or even completely comprehensible. It shifts, gets a bit colder, the dog gets up and leaves, I pause not knowing what to say next. And then, the heat kicks on, the furnace hums, the dryer shuts off, and I know what to do.

dextersknee

I make plans, but they don’t work out. The plan to keep Dexter “safe” by keeping him home with me didn’t ultimately work. He was in the backyard, saw a squirrel and chased it. When I looked outside seconds later, his back end had given out. I didn’t see what had happened, so at first I wasn’t sure if he was having a stroke or something related to the cancer, or if he’d broken something. He continued to try and run after the squirrel, but his back legs wouldn’t cooperate.  His left leg wouldn’t straighten out or hold weight, so we headed immediately to the emergency vet.

Long story short: he’s injured his left knee. It’s either his knee cap, which is in the wrong place, or a tendon. He’s on pain medication for now, with strict orders to take it easy, and we will continue his anti-inflammatory as it’s one of the strongest available. We have a physical therapy appointment in the morning, and will meet to consult with his regular vet. Surgery in Dexter’s case, because of his cancer, just isn’t an option. The reality is, with Dexter’s age (he’s almost ten now) and activity level, something like this was likely to happen at some point, cancer or no cancer.

dexterslungsThere is good news. Dexter feels okay, although it annoys him his leg won’t work. We start physical therapy in the morning and there’s a good chance that will help him feel and function better. And while at the vet, they xrayed his chest, so we know that his cancer hasn’t metastasized to his lungs or heart. And even though I did cry a little, panic, and feel sad, and there was a bit of tenderness, terror in having to take care of it alone (Eric was still hiking, out of cellphone range), I didn’t freak out, I handled it. In the moment, something bad happened, but I knew what to do.

Any good energy you can spare my Dexter, kind and gentle reader, would be much appreciated.

Something Good

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1. The Four-Part Breath of Grief on Curvy Yoga. Brutal and beautiful.

2. Jilly Ink. Handwriting at its most brilliant.

3. Why it’s okay to be fully properly and awesomely sad by Susan Piver on Glad Is. She’s amazing, and this is further proof.

When you’re sad, everything touches you. You cry so easily. You feel things intensely, and not just your own struggles, but everyone else’s. There is no barrier. Your heart is so open. Though it may feel quite disorienting, this rawness is actually a very important threshold: When we’re open, we can be touched. When we’re touched, we can respond genuinely. When we’re genuine, we can love and be loved and our real life can actually begin. That is how important sadness is.

4. Every Time I Talk About Depression – Being Brave by Chris Brogan.

5. What I Have to Offer: “What I have to offer is me, what you have to offer is you, and if you offer yourself with authenticity and generosity I will be moved.” ~Charlie Kaufman

6. Life Isn’t Safe from Raam Dev.

7. The World’s Simplest Meditation from Think Simple Now. “If you want to know God, then turn your face toward your friend and don’t look away.” ~Rumi

8. This quote from the Dalai Lama: “Any practice that can give you more courage when you are undergoing a very difficult time and that can provide you with some kind of solace and calmness of mind is a true practice of the dharma.”

9. 8 Simple Living Blogs You Will Enjoy Discovering on Becoming Minimalist. I’m sure I will, once I get time to take a closer look.

10. Rocky Mountain Reflections. I think I want this on in the background all the time. It makes me happy–maybe because it’s one of the only ways I enjoy the Park, from afar (they don’t allow dogs on the trails, so what’s the point?).

11. Aimee Mann’s new album Charmer comes out next week, but you can listen to it in its entirety NOW on NPR’s First Listen!