Category Archives: SouleMama

Something Good

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

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

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

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

and this,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26. Don’t Fucking Touch Me. *sigh*

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

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

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

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

31. money talks with amy tingle on Mabel Magazine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something Good

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

1. Fuck That! A Manifesto from Gala Darling.

2. More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think.

3. How not to talk to people with an eating disorder.

4. A Tiny Hamster And A Hedgehog Had A Tiny Tiki Party Because The Internet Is Amazing.

5. Nepal Earthquake Relief Coalition.

6. A Variety of Unprocessed Foods Cut into Uncannily Precise 2.5cm Cubes by Lernert & Sander.

7. Release Tension in the Psoas. “Our yoga practice is an opportunity to undo this chronic tension, and establish a deep and abiding sense of harmony in the body and mind.”

8. The Secret Life of a Scorpio on Elephant Journal.

9. 23 Brilliant Life Lessons From Anthony Bourdain.

10. Rats try to rescue others in distress, suggesting they feel empathy.

11. How to Get Rid of Clutter You Care About from Be More with Less.

12. In the Garden, May 14 on SouleMama.

13. How to Get Your Spouse on Board for Your Career Change from Laura Simms.

14. 3 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be on Marc and Angel Hack Life.

15. the stylists: little nicki on SF Girl by Bay.

16. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, two different messages, both ones I needed to hear,

Dear Spread-Too-Thin Girl….

Is it time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you, and let the rest go so that you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things…instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place?

Your heart knows when it’s time…and you will have the strength to do it.

And best of all…you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy.

It may not look like the most glamorous life….but it is one filled with joy, peace and harmony….one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion…one where worries are few…where long meaningful conversations are many…..one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there.

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts.

Is it time to simplify?

Simplify today…..one little thing at time. You can do it.

AND

Dear Wise Girl,

Having a rough day? Stop and take a breath, and remember it’s important to stick to the facts, because we often make things up in our heads that get us into a tizzy that is hard to get out of. Fears are mean little fabulists.

Think about everything you have feared in your life, or even for the last 30 days. Think about what you have feared for the last 24 hours, in fact. Think about the stories that you made up in your head about those fierce fears, about all of the terrible and scary and devastating things that surrounded those fears, about how if those things happened, they would surely ruin your life.

Now think about whether or not ANY of those things came to pass, and whether they really did devastate your life. Sure, some yucky things actually DO happen, but a large majority of our fears are stories that we make up in our heads that never ever happen. Yet we waste SO MUCH TIME on them. Aren’t we silly creatures?

So stick to the facts. And if the facts are harsh and look like they might yield some difficult consequences, think about the WORST thing that could possibly happen, and then ask yourself if you could live through it and be okay. See? YOU CAN! And YOU WILL!!

Because you are a brave, brave girl.

17. On Unplugging from Work & Embracing Adventure from Rowdy Kittens.

18. Dear Writers: None Of Us Know What The Fuck We’re Doing on Terrible Minds. tl;dr:

The Five Constants:
1. Write A Lot (And To Completion)
2. Read A Lot (And Read Critically When You Do)
3. Think About Writing And Storytelling
4. Talk To Writers
5. Go Live A Life

19. A Guy Secretly Filmed His Mom For A Year To Help Her Find A Boyfriend.

20. Practicing Non-Judgment on Zen Habits.

21. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s newsletter: Dear universe (form letter), and Karr to Syracuse grads: Don’t compare your twisted-up insides to others’ blow-dried outsides and a video of the same speech, and In a Mother’s Library, Bound in Spirit and in Print.

22. Video: 100 years of Aging a Soon-to-be Married Couple.

23. Man Cleans Up Entire River On His Way To Work.

24. The Last Day of Her Life, “When Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when?”

25. At the Coffeehouse by Jeff Oaks.

26. Melissa McCarthy has powerful words for image-obsessed Hollywood.

27. The Heart and the Bottle: A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions on Brain Pickings.