Category Archives: The Freedom Experiment

Something Good

summereddyhall

1. This wisdom from Kristen Noelle’s Trust Notes,

And I sit here with these many things, getting quiet. Leaning into silence. I’m listening for what wants to be said, and the only thing that arises is this sense that we need holding space.

Holding space where more mental processing isn’t required.
Holding space for the feelings that arise – often in combinations that surprise and confound us.
Holding space where more lists of what to do, or what not to do, or how to get more healthy feel moot somehow. Not stupid – just not needed right now.
Holding space for stillness.
Holding space for not-striving.
Holding space for noticing our breath.

It’s not a checking out of life, a numbing to it. But rather a pause to simply be.

2. This wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

Going after your dreams isn’t about “getting things done.” It’s about being “undone,” letting go of limiting assumptions, forgiving yourself deeply, falling in love with yourself, your life, your consciousness and your gifts. It’s a process, not a race.

And this,

Have things gotten harder lately? You are walking through fire. These times will burn away the false. Only the real and true remains. You cannot be diffuse and potent at the same time. The fire times burn off everything that does not match your soul.

3. Good Life Project “Living Creed.”

glplivingcreed

4. My Creative Joy : Fabric from Rachel Cole, (hey look, Rachel, you’re in the top ten again!). I am afraid to go near a fabric store. As the daughter of a seamstress and the niece of a quilter and many other crafty women, I know that it’s only a matter of time before I am similarly obsessed — I want to make stuff!

5. Old Spock battles New Spock in the greatest car commercial ever

6. 59 Awesome FREE things to do to Feel Amazingly Alive, from The Freedom Experiment.

7. 10 Ways to Stop Overeating Today from Anne-Sophie.

8. Two heartbreaking, sweet videos from the Black Forest Fire, Baby Deer Rescued By Firefighter and Touching reunion between fire evacuee & his horse.

9. Habits: A Simple Change in Mindset Changes Everything from Zen Habits.

10. This wisdom from Brave Girls Club

You are doing so many good things. You are going so many wonderful directions. You are spreading so much goodness and kindness and wild-happy energy.

You are making goals and dreaming dreams and trying to do even better than you did yesterday.

You are thinking about people you love and how you can serve them, you are a loyal friend and family member. You are making an enormous difference in the lives of all who know you, and in so many lives you don’t even know about too.

It’s time to give yourself a break. time to stop and thank your body and your soul for everything it does to keep you going. This would be a great weekend to do just that . . . give yourself a break. Pat yourself on the back and take a nap and a hot bath. Even eat some chocolate! 🙂

Sure, there are still lots of things for you to work on, and you will get to that. You are doing great, and sometimes you just have to stop and let yourself breathe, evaluate, rest, recharge, restore.

Take good care of yourself, fabulous friend. We need all of the fabulousness of you!

11. This cuteness from Reddit. An elephant, a dog, and the ocean in the background, it really doesn’t get much better — unless of course there are two dogs, and a pie.

elephantwithdoghead

12. Baby Sea Lion Climbs Onto Boat For Some Snuggle Time.

13. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday list: Stocking Your Refrigerator for Everyday Healthy Meals.

14. This is what your supermarket would look like if all the bees died off, heartbreaking pictures from Grist.

15. Gaiman’s New ‘Ocean’ Is No Kiddie Pool, an interview with the author, one of my favorites, on NPR. I want this book.

16. Christina Hendricks Should Lose a Few Pounds.* on Elephant Journal.

17. Brody Dalle on The Conversation.

18. Angry is a habit from Seth Godin.

19. 11 Tips & Tricks for Mindful Writers on Elephant Journal.

20. your daily rock : open up

21. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, how I want my daughter to look.

22. From Positively Present Picks: 10 Small Ways to Make This The Happiest Summer of Your Life, and Can A Number Determine Your Fate? What Numerology Can Tell You About Your Life Purpose (which led me to this, because apparently I’m a 7), and Yay! Magnets, love them.

yaylovemagnet23. This wisdom from Umair Haque, “Your life will never feel true unless you fuck it up whenever it feels like a lie.”

24. Do you realise how extraordinary your story is? from Marianne Elliott.

25. This cool post on Reddit, Photographer James Mollison took photos of fans from a bunch of different concerts to show how people will emulate their idols. The photos are amazing. We are all so gloriously weird.

26. C. Jane Kendrick: Weight loss never promised peace: Why I exercise without expectations.

27. Bob Dylan´s HAND LETTERING EXPERIENCE from Senna. I really want to try something like this.

28. When It’s Time for Coziness and Comfort, a really great list on the Mojo Lab.

29. The internet IS real life, from Nextness. All I can say is “amen.”

Something Good (Part One)

1. Todd McLellan’s ‘Things Come Apart’ Showcases Beautiful Photos Of Disassembled Technology on Huffington Post. So cool.

2. Worst Client Comments Turned Into Posters on Bored Panda.

3. Rest in Peace, Clifford, a beautiful meditation on death and the loss of furry ones by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I had to say goodbye this weekend to my dear cat Clifford — the king of all cats, heart of my heart, coolest of the cool, best of the best, friend to the whole world — who had finally, after a life that was both deeply noble and entirely absurd, reached his end.

We haz sad.

Clifford came to us nearly six years ago from the animal shelter, by way of a supermarket parking lot, where he had been found wandering hungry. He has certainly never been hungry since, as you can see by his comfortable girth in this photo. We never had the first idea how old he was, or anything about his backstory. I only know that chose him above all others at the shelter because of his giant Falstaffian belly, because of his slightly drunken-looking face (not a day has passed that I don’t laugh whenever I lay eyes on him), because of his purr (the loudest I have ever heard), but mostly because the way he fitted himself deeply into my arms the moment I picked him up. Saturday night, I held him in my arms again while he floated off peacefully.

While it was clearly Clifford’s time to go (as I joked in tears to a friend, “What kind of unfair God would pluck a geriatric, diabetic, toothless animal with arthritic legs and increasing incontinence right from the prime of his life?”) it is still heartbreaking. We love our furry-headed friends in a way that is different, more inexplicable, and more tender than other kinds of love, and when they go, it makes us ache to our core.

But here is what I keep thinking. I met a monk once in India who told me that one of the karmic roles of our beloved pets (“part of their service,” he said) is to come into our lives as teachers. They are sent here not only to teach us how to love, but also to teach us how to die — because they do it so well, and so uncomplainingly. We need these lessons, you see, because we are so famously bad at death, we humans. We are so afraid of it, so angry at it, so resistant to it. But our furry-heads, they see death differently. And as they slip away from us, they try to show us, “Watch me do this: It’s really not that difficult. You just have to let go…”

Thank you, Clifford. You did great. I watched carefully. I tried to learn. I will always love you. There will never be another like you.

3. Sara Bareilles’s new video for her latest song, Brave.

4. Food is Gross, and this blog is funny.

5. What I Ate Wednesday: Intuition on Back to Her Roots.

6. Two photo apps that I really want, but will only work on my ipod: A Beautiful Mess and Over.

7. Anne Lamott on writing,

I get to start a new section of something I’m working on, which means, all the bad voices will be sitting on my bed when I wake up; and they will have already had coffee. But I will drown them out by getting to work. They will talk more loudly: “You’re beating a dead horse. The well has run dry. It’s all over for England.” But I’ll push back my sleeves and plunge in. Things will go badly, and I’ll make lots of mistakes, but I’ll also make some progress on getting a shitty first draft down on paper–and at that point, I will be halfway home.

8. Thoughts on Creative Joy and a Lightbulb Moment by Tracey Clark.

9. Shy Dog Studio. I saw this painting at the emergency vets last week when we were there for Dexter’s physical therapy appointment. I love it. It reminds me of Sam, but I loved it even more when I found out that Nicole, one of our favorite staff members, is the painter.

shydogstudio

10. Sacred Love: 12 Things at the Bottom of Everything from Rachel Maddox.

11. Are you Tired of Life? Encouragement for the Overworked, Stressed and Exhausted from The Freedom Experiment.

12. soundtrack to your life | anna guest-jelley from Sas Petherick. I adore Anna Guest-Jelley (and Sas, of course) and especially love this part of the interview, “How do you take care of your body? By listening to what it actually wants, rather than telling it what it should have/do/be.” Amen.

13. I Have An Eating Disorder And No One In My Life Knows by Kristen Forbes on Role/Reboot.

14. Girl Talk: I Don’t Know What I Weigh — The Case for Stepping Off the Scale by Claire Mysko on The Frisky, in which she says,

The choices you make about what you eat, how much you exercise, how proactive you are about attending to your physical and emotional well-being — those are the choices that impact your health. The number on the scale might change as you make healthier or less healthy choices. But you know what? It might not. A woman who binge eats will be healthier if she starts seeing a good therapist who can help her curb the disordered eating behavior and address the underlying issues that fuel it. Whether or not that results in weight loss isn’t the point. If I suddenly start eating more crap takeout food and start taking cabs everywhere, I will definitely have less cash. I will probably have less energy. It might affect my blood pressure and my cholesterol. Will I gain weight? Maybe. Again, not the point. I gained and lost weight through years of disordered eating (and believe me, I tracked the number by the minute in those days). I was in a “healthy” weight range when I was a raging bulimic. Bingeing and purging? It ain’t healthy. The reality is that weight is not a reliable or holistic indicator of a person’s health.

15. Zach Sobiech died today. I knew it’s how his story would end (how all our stories will end) but that doesn’t mean my heart didn’t break a little anyway. While he was here, he lived.

16. Why I Don’t Diet – An Ode to My Father.

17. 59 Reasons We’re Going To Miss “The Office” on Buzzfeed.

18. On being uprooted. Or, finding home. from Sherry at Simply Celebrate.

19. Serving Sizes.

20. Milla Jovovich on The Conversation.

Uh-oh! I got so excited that I pushed publish before I was done making my list. Part two is on its way.

Something Good

1. the pursuit of happiness: how part-time dream-chasing works from Liv Lane. This makes so much sense to me, seems to be how things are working in my case.

2. From a poem shared by the lovely Jessica Patterson,

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
~Judy Brown

3. A quote shared by Christa on Carry It Forward,

The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it. It’s not possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering the unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift – your true self – is the most you can do to love and serve the world…and it is all the world needs. ~Bill Plotkin

4. After School Snack: Almond-Oat Bites. This recipe looks so yummy. I wonder what it would taste like with avocado? 🙂

5. Pets Add Life Outtakes. If this doesn’t make you giggle, we probably wouldn’t get along.

6. This quote from Lin Yutang, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

7. This quote from Pema Chödrön,

Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.

Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.

8. This quote from Ram Daas,

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.

9. [How I Relax] An interview with Marianne Elliott on The Freedom Experiment.

10. Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree: Self-Compassion and Resilience from Lea Seigen Shinraku.

11. International Artist Mary Anne Radmacher Talks Living Boldly on 365 Bold.

12. “A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to.” ~Tom Bissell

13. 9 Steps to Creating a Successful e-Course from Pro Blogger.

14. I Never Thought A 1-Minute Video Could Punch Me In The Heart. Yet Here We Are. Seeing Anne Frank with gray hair made me cry.

15. Washed Away, a New York Times book review of ‘Wave’ by Sonali Deraniyagala, by Cheryl Strayed. After reading this, I immediately ordered the book, knowing it’s going to break my heart.

16. Creating Your Zen Den on Positively Positive.

17. Wisdom from Osho,

When you have dropped all the tension about the future – that I should become this and I should become that – the ego evaporates. The ego lives on a base of the past and the future. Understand this a little. The claims of the ego are of the past, “I did this, I did that” – it is all in the past. And the ego says, “I will definitely accomplish this, I will definitely show you that I can accomplish that.” That is all in the future. The ego simply does not exist in the present. If you come to the present, then the ego disappears. That is death to the ego. Coming to the present is the death of the ego.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön: Comfortable with Transition, a Good Minute Weekly Wisdom offering from Sounds True.

19. Generosity for Georgia, a really great fundraising effort for a single mom fighting cancer. If I had my way, no kid ever again would lose their mom to cancer. For now, the only thing I can do about that is to give some money and love to people like Georgia, and share the link with you so you can too.

20. Wisdom from Patti Digh,

A thought: If we can walk to our edges without judgment–edges are those “hot spots” of discomfort and disequilibrium where real learning can occur–we can learn something valuable about ourselves. But we have to choose between judging and learning, because if we go into judgment (of ourselves or others), we can’t learn. Carry on.

21. A great story from Jen Lee on The Moth.

22. Trading in Consumption on Be More With Less. Courtney Carver continues to be such an inspiration to me.

23. This quote from Tony Schwartz,

Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

24. Five Ways To Nourish Yourself from Nourishing the Soul.

25. Objects of Desire from Lisa Field-Elliot on Doorways Traveler. I love, love, love her writing, her view, her heart. Every post she says something so true, something that startles and stops me, makes me cry. This time it was this, “it is not about accumulating, it is about recognizing and eliminating what does not speak the truth.”

26. i could live here: a converted waffle factory in lille. from SF Girl by Bay. Everything about this place is yummy, gorgeous and good, and I can’t help but wonder, how different would your life be if you lived in a space like that? I mean, it’s a converted waffle factory in France that is decorated and furnished beautifully– everything about that is good. In my dream of it, it still smells like waffles, warm maple and vanilla.

27. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

If we unbalance nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy as, if not healthier than, we found it. This is not quite such a difficult proposition as it might sound. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a universal response might achieve. It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that may be. Just because switching off the light on leaving the room seems inconsequential, it does not mean we shouldn’t do it.

28. From Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Speaking Up About Grief and Why We Rescue Interview, (this project only has one entry so far, but it’s such a good idea, and a really good first interview–I’m a sucker for a good rescue story).

29. This quote from Geneen Roth, “Compulsive eating is only the symptom; believing that you are not worth your own love is the problem. Go for the love. You will never be sorry.”

30. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list, Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing.

31. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Facebook for Buddhists? Five Rules for Maintaining a Mindful “Buddha Status,” and This is Why I Practice, which says,

I don’t practice because I am righteous or virtuous. I certainly don’t practice because I am perfect or peaceful. Nor do I practice to impress you or to prove some inane point about my wonderful brilliant sparkly shininess.

I practice because without practice I am a mess.

Amen.

32. Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You from Space2Live.

33. Pack Animals, from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

We need each other. The trick for me is to accept that need, to allow myself to satisfy it, and even to enjoy it, without allowing it to overtake the rest of my life and make me sacrifice myself.

34. Kid President Laugh Party! I adore Kid President.

35. Do not do shit just to please your parents. In fact, do not pursue anything in order to please someone else. Ever. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte.

36. The Real Journey of a Writer, wisdom from Justine Musk.

Something Good (and a few confessions)

1. Radio Enso #73: Buddhist teacher and author Susan Piver. “In this in-depth and inspirational conversation, we’ll discuss meditation (what IS meditation?, misconceptions about it, etc.), Buddhism, dharma, The Open Heart Project, and Susan’s life journey from a young girl who was always seeking to her life as a teacher, author, and lifelong spiritual practitioner.”

2. How Change Can Save Your Life, from Positively Present. A really great discussion of change, which is inevitable. And, Mourning Sickness: 6 Steps for Coping with Loss, a beautiful contemplation on a brutal experience, in which she says,

Despite the sadness and pain, the true despair of losing a best friend, there is still beauty in life. The beauty of now doesn’t override from the pain of remembering what was, but it helps. Loss will never be painless, but we have some control over how much we suffer.

3. 10 Trust Habits to Support Your Next Scary Step, from Trust Tending with Kristin Noelle.

4. Marina Abramovic and Ulay.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

5. These Aren’t Your Average Snapshots: Bill Gekas’ Portraits of His Daughter as Classic Paintings.

6. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, a super interesting TED Talk. And Chuck Wendig’s response on Terrible Minds, The Art of Asking: For Writers and Storytellers.

7. The Art of Reframing Difficult Emotions, on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Losing Your Mind and Finding Your Self, Ed and Deb Shapiro on The Huffington Post.

9. The Young Girl Who’s Best Friends with African Wildlife. A really fun set of pictures.

Born in Africa to French wildlife photographer parents, Tippi Degré had a most unusual childhood. The young girl grew up in the African desert and developed an uncommon bond with many untamed animals including a 28-year old African elephant named Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, lion cubs, giraffes, an Ostrich, a mongoose, crocodiles, a baby zebra, a cheetah, giant bullfrogs, and even a snake. Africa was her home for many years and Tippi became friends with the ferocious animals and tribespeople of Namibia. As a young child, the French girl said, “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends.”

10. Meditation And Mourning: 3 Obstacles to Successful Grieving, by Lodro Rinzler on The Huffington Post.

11. This quote, so important: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa

12. Open Your Heart to Change the World, an older post from Susan Piver, but fundamental.

13. How I Got the Job and Lost Myself, from Liv Lane, (I confess, I sometimes feel this way about my paid work).

14. Ash Beckham at Ignite Boulder 20, a sane argument for not using the word “gay” as a pejorative, for acceptance rather than tolerance of gay people, (I confess, I love and accept gay people).

15. Book Porn: The 30 Best Places To Be If You Love Books(I confess, I am a bibliophile).

16. Flora Bowley post it notes, oh my, (I confess, I love post it notes).

17. She’s Worth It Fundraising Campaign. A more than worthy cause.

18. Pema Chödrön’s Three Bite Practice.

You can do this anytime you eat a meal. Before taking the first bite, just pause and think of those men and women of wisdom and mentally offer them your food. In this way, you connect with the virtue of devotion.

Before taking the second bite, pause and offer your food to all those who’ve been kind to you. This nurtures the virtues of gratitude and appreciation. The third bite is offered to those who are suffering: all the people and animals who are starving, or being tortured or neglected, without comfort or friends. Think, too, of all of us who suffer from aggression, craving, and indifference. This simple gesture awakens the virtue of compassion.

In this way—by relying on our teachers, our benefactors, and those in need—we gather the virtues of devotion, gratitude, and kindness.

19. When the Universe Has Been Listening All Along, a beautiful post from Christina Rosalie. Also from Christina, 35 Words, “A project with my friend Willow I are doing: 35 Words + an image every day for the year.”

20. The Burning HouseI knew about the book, but hadn’t heard of the blog until I read about it on SF Girl by Bay.

21. A quote from Goldie Hawn, “If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself,” (I confess, I can’t remember who originally shared this quote).

22. This quote from Barry Magid, (shared by Carry It Forward), “Happiness or enlightenment is not something that takes place in our brains. They are functions of a whole person living a whole life.”

23. And this quote from William Henry Channing, (shared by Patti Digh as a Daily Rock on 37 Days),

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.

24. Weight Loss and Recovery—Can they Coexist? Is Recovery Even Possible After So Long? I so appreciate Lori’s sane discussions of dis-ordered eating.

25. With Gratitude, Hope Growsa post about surrendering to the creative process, showing up and allowing what happens, written by Juliette Crane for Your Heart Makes a Difference.

26. Quote from Ram Daas,

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves, where we can look at all that is happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.

27. A really good question from Rumi, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” Why, indeed.

28. Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, a great post by Rita on This (Sorta) Old Life which shares this quote,

we can’t do it all. but we can all do something… the path is set before us and we only need take a little step each day. soon we will look back and be amazed at how far we’ve come. and we can do it without sacrificing those things that matter most in our life and our heart: the main thing. keep the main thing the main thing. (from Grace Uncommon via Leilani at Tales of a Clyde Woman)

29. This quote from the brilliant Geneen Roth,

When I realized I didn’t have to keep “paying” for my life in pounds of suffering, there was a shift. I realized that living wasn’t about deserving, but allowing. Allowing myself to have what I already had. And each of us has so much all the time…

If, today, you made a commitment to allow yourself to have what you already have instead of constantly having to prove that you are worth it in the many ways we strive to prove ourselves, what would you see? What would you know? Can you allow yourselves to have the safety, the love, the beauty, the breath that you already have? Will you give yourself that much–now?

30. A grieving mom’s advice to the rest of us: Love purely, and take it easy, a beautiful and heartbreaking post from Emily Rapp.

31. This song has been in my head, A Thousand Tiny Pieces, from The Be Good Tanyas.

32. soundtrack to your life | rachel cole, in which Sas Petherick interviews Rachel, (the reason that song has been in my head).

33. When Your Work Life is Destroying Your Good Life, on Be More With Less.

34. This song is also in my head, Ellie Goulding – Dead In The Water (Live At iTunes Festival 2012)

35. Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

36. You can’t do any better (but you can feel better), from Marianne Elliott.

37. How Mindfulness Can Help You Discover What You Want to Do in Life, on Tiny Buddha.

38. Lowering Your Standardsa Daily Rock on 37 Days.

39. Minimalism, a post on Smalltopia.

40. Eight years, by Susannah Conway, a post on grief, healing, and tattoos.

41. Daily Happiness: 9 Simple Ways to Find it in Your Life, a post on the Positivity Blog, originally shared on Positively Present.

42. A quote by Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

43. Approximately 3 Minutes Inside The Head of My 2 Year Old by Jason Good. Funny, and I might be a two year old.

44. Observe These Hands, My Dear. from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

I watched the dogs chase each other in the snow and heard the robins singing—a sure bellwether of spring—and the happiness welled up a little bit in me because I was right there, just doing the next thing, and it’s those moments I feel no need to change myself, Fix Myself, do anything to myself to make myself different so other people will be OK with me and my actions. Actually it wasn’t happiness, it was just contentment. The opposite of “discontent.”

“Content”—the word comes from the Latin for contain or to hold. In those moments I feel held, safe.

45. This quote from Julia Cameron, “I love to write. Which isn’t to say that it’s always easy.” Amen.

Something Good

1. I’d Do Anything to Stop This Pain by Jennifer Gresham on Everyday Bright.

2. This quote: We’re in a giant car headed toward a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit. ~David Suzuki. This is Buddhist wisdom I’ve heard before, the idea that we we’ve all bought a ticket on a ship that’s sinking, that we are boarding a plane that’s guaranteed to crash, that this is the reality of life (death), but the additional wisdom here is that even knowing this, we spend our time on the dumbest things, like worrying what to pack or complaining about the snacks.

3. Biz Ladies: Part I — Your Blog Is Your Book This is very good news indeed.

4. Ayurveda at a Glance I am working on a guest post about meditation for Niight’s blog.

5. This wisdom from Tulku Thondup

The key is to make meditation a part of your life, like part of the fabric of a tapestry. Bring an attitude of enjoyment to your meditation, that helps tremendously. Also, bring the peaceful feelings of meditation into your daily activities. That is how to begin tasting the fruits of your efforts. When the healing of mind becomes a habit, our minds become like a great river. The river may not always appear to be moving. But if we look closely enough we will see how the water is slowly, slowly making its way to the sea.

And this:

Meditation is a way of training ourselves to develop a more peaceful mind. Everyone has different capabilities and needs when it comes to this training. We don’t want to push ourselves or be too forceful, but we also want to avoid being slack or lazy. Each of us needs to develop a sense of what’s best for us.

6. Love Letter to the World: Rachel W. Cole

7. Fiona Apple recently canceled her South American tour, because her sweet dog is dying. If you’ve ever loved a dog, lost a dog, the letter she wrote in explanation will break your heart. This comforted me, “she is coming close to the time where she will stop being a dog, and start instead to be part of everything” and this wrecked me:

I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time. I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments. I need to do my damnedest to be there for that. Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I’ve ever known. When she dies.

this boy is at my feet right now, doing his own dying–slowly but for certain, while I do my damnedest to be here for it

8. From the Daily Flame:

Why do you judge yourself when you feel tired? Why do you allow fatigue to turn into a story about how you’re not [something] enough? Have you ever thought that perhaps I speak to you through feelings of tiredness, that perhaps, you’re not hearing my whispers, telling you to slow down, and fatigue is the spell I slap on you to help you listen? If you’re tired today, what do you think I might be telling you? Listen up. I have a message for you…

And this one:

Sometimes the longings of your heart feel crazy, don’t they? You wonder how you can possibly trust desires that are so outlandish, impractical, out of control, fickle, and passion-laden. Yet what can you trust more than the stirrings of the heart? Stay there, with your heart wide open. This is where I live, not in your mind, but in the interior spaciousness of pure possibility and divine love.

9. This from Marianne Williamson: “Let there be a ceasefire in all our hearts. Let’s make peace with ourselves, our God, our past, and each other. Let’s all together declare peace on earth.” And this, “Now, in this moment, you are who you have always been and will always be. All spiritual practice — forgiveness, meditation and prayer — is for the purpose of training the mind to see through the illusions of a world that would convince you otherwise.”

10. Dear Sugar, The Rumpus Advice Column #90: 94 Ways of Saying Thank You

11. 15 Gifts You Can Give Yourself for Free from Marc and Angel Hack Life

12. This quote, by way of Lindsey on A Design So Vast:

…be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. ~Paul Harding

13. Emerging Icons: Demystifying the Process from Jen Lee

14. This quote: If you want to be happy, be. ~Leo Tolstoy

15. This quote: Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. ~ Henry James

16. This quote: Underneath it all, we are wild and we know it. ~Reggie Ray

17. This quote from Mary Gaitskill:

Writing is…. being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page. If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like smoke, where it will re-form, whole and alive, fully adapted to its new environment.

18. The Daily Routines of Famous Writers from Brain Pickings.

19. Recipes I want to try: Sweet Potato Biscuits, Apple Hand Pies, and Graham Crackers.

20. Shirley and Jenny: Two Elephants Reunited After More Than 20 Years, which I’ve seen before, but was reminded of this morning by Sas, and is why I drank tear flavored coffee.

21. Rachel Cole’s Holiday Gift Guide. I’m totally going to make some of the homemade surprise balls.

22. I may have posted this before, but it’s worth repeating: 55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy

23. Every time I read Ken’s story, I am amazed at how similar it is to my own.

24. This sweet interview. “Joshua Littman, a 12-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, interviews his mother, Sarah. Joshua’s unique questions and Sarah’s loving, unguarded answers reveal a beautiful relationship that reminds us of the best—and the most challenging—parts of being a parent.”

25. This quote from Geneen Roth:

Right here, this exact moment, is the doorway to the peace and the joy you want. No matter how much you ate in the last few days, no matter how much you did or didn’t do, can you stop your mind’s nattering? Can you, are you willing to, take in the fact that you have a body, arms, legs, eyes. That you can see, hear, touch, taste. Are you willing to break the trance of unworthiness right now?

26. PicMonkeyI love photo editing, adding quotes, and this site makes it so easy. I can’t wait to waste some serious time with this.

27. Don’t Just Create. Liberate., a great post from yogi Jonathan Fields.

28. Deck the Blog: Favorite Design Resources from Laura Simms on Scoutie Girl. This is going to be fun.

29. This quote: “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” ~Thich
Nhat Hanh

30. No Shit from Whatever, Etc. Every woman who has ever cried in a dressing room, or wanted to when she looked in the mirror, or thought she would lose her mind shopping for a swimming suit or pair of jeans that fit needs to read this.

Something Good


1. This quote from Pema Chödrön’s new book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change:

It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human.

2. Two posts from Lissa Rankin: Stop Striving. You Are Already Enough. and 6 Life Lessons I Learned from Blogging.

3. This heartbreaking video. This was going around on Facebook last week, and I finally watched it. This is the real shit. If you’ve ever loved someone and lost them (especially if it was to cancer), and had to keep living after, you will feel this man’s pain, and at the same time be reminded we are not alone.

4. The impossible choice by Sunni Chapman on Roots of She. With everything that’s been going on with my Dexter, this post was pure medicine for me. Especially this,

Oh Life, you are so kind. Even if you had taken him from me, you are still so kind. Because you gave me the love of this dear sweet being, for as long as he wants to be with me, and for a million other reasons, as well. Thank you Life, for this gift of seeing, and thank you Life, for this greatest gift of LOVE.

Thank you, Sunni.

5. The Burning House: What People Would Take if the House Was on Fire on Brain Pickings. I thought so much about this with the fires here this summer, love seeing what people would take, what is precious to them.

6. The Renegade Craft Fair in London on decor8. I would have spent so much money at this. And p.s., I love Holly’s latest blog design, especially the new header and link buttons.

7. 8 life lessons, gracefully learned – advice for my younger self on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Living Into My Words from Erica Staab. And not just because she quoted me, but because of things like this,

How often do we assume that we are the only ones struggling with something, to wrestle alone with our thoughts, fears and doubts only to hear when we finally gain the courage and bravery to share…“Me too.”

9. Famous Writer’s Small Writing Sheds and Off-The-Grid Huts. I felt physical pain looking at these, a tension and nausea in my body because my desire was so intense. I love these, want one someday.

10. Charles Bukowski, Arthur C. Clarke, Annie Dillard, John Cage, and Others on the Meaning of Life from Brain Pickings. So many great quotes here.

11. My Creative Life: Tammy Strobel, an interview with Susannah Conway. I am reading Tammy’s new book right now, so especially loved hearing her talk about her life as a writer. Susannah also shared a few links in her Something for the Weekend post (where I get at least one thing for this list each week) to people living in tiny spaces (Tammy lives in a tiny house) which are making me, once again, want to purge, downsize, declutter, and simplify.

Susannah also shared a link this week to this gorgeous video, The Most Beautiful Lies sung by Clare Bowditch and a few other lovelies.

And while we are talking about the brilliant Susannah Conway, here’s an interview with her on Sassyology.

12. 22 playful + productive + passion-stoking things to do, this September from Alex Franzen on Unicorns for Socialism.

13. The Only Way to Respond to Life, a sweet post by Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. “This moment is a ridiculously generous miracle.”

14. My dog: the paradox on The Oatmeal. Too funny, slightly naughty, and so true.

15. 5 Important Reasons to Slow Down Today on Pick the Brain.

16. 9 Ways to Get a New Venture Cracking from Jennifer Louden.

17. This poem from Rumi.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

18. This quote from the Dalai Lama.

Hardship, in forcing us to exercise greater patience and forbearance in daily life, actually makes us stronger and more robust. From the daily experience of hardship comes a greater capacity to accept difficulties without losing our sense of inner calm. Of course, I do not advocate seeking out hardship as a way of life, but merely wish to suggest that, if you relate to it constructively, it can bring greater inner strength and fortitude.

19. Humans of New York.

20. Our dreams don’t belong to us. They belong to the world. from Kelly Rae Roberts.