Category Archives: Trust Tending

Self-Compassion Saturday: Kristin Noelle

I am so pleased to be introducing you to Kristin Noelle’s perspective on self-compassion today, kind and gentle reader. She is every bit as kind and gentle as you, is the most generous, warm-hearted person. Time and time again she has offered me inspiration and comfort, freely and without ever having met me. Just yesterday, she made a video Trust Note that was exactly what I needed to hear.

Kristin describes herself this way, “I’m a trust coach. I write, speak, teach, make art, and listen deeply, all to help trust grow,” because “I see trust as our world’s most potent source of transformation.” She describes her Trust Tending work as “nourishing Life beyond fear.”

KristinNoelle1. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

When I think of self-compassion, I often hear in my mind a line from Sarah McLachlan’s song “Adia”: We are born innocent. And then further, We are *still* innocent. We make messes of things absolutely, and hurt ourselves and one another in all sorts of ways. But at heart, I believe we’re each, given our genetic make-up and life experiences, doing the best we can.

The more closely I look at the harm we cause and the messes we make, the more I see scared, childlike parts of us just responding like children do. Which elicits something so different than judgment for me. I feel sadness about the fear, and sometimes anger at all that causes fear to take root. But my basic stance toward those scared, childlike parts is kindness.

Self-compassion is me extending this kindness, and this confidence in my core innocence, to my own self – even when I wish my feelings or actions or nature could be different.

whocanfathom

art by Kristin Noelle

2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

In my early twenties (I’m nearing 40 now), I suffered the loss of my childhood faith. By that I don’t mean faith *in general*, but a particular worldview I’d known and been devoted to since childhood. That loss so befuddled family, friends, and mentors, that I found myself, quite shockingly to my good-girl self, making a choice between maintaining the approval of so many I cared about, and honoring my own soul. I chose the latter.

Something about that experience cracked me wide open. It was so unexpected and painful, and preceded by such pure-hearted devotion, that I felt like my eyes got totally remade. Instead of the lines I’d previously seen around “good” and “bad”, “holy” and “profane”, I started to see the childlike innocence in everyone around me: in myself, as I pursued truth and integrity the best ways I knew how; in those around me at the time, whose religious identities and experiences caused them to think me gone astray; in those who had no context to understand or appreciate the misery my loss of faith was causing me.

I more readily saw with eyes of compassion than ever before.

Through that time and all these many years since, many authors and teachers put words to this deep innocence I started to see, deepening my sense of it. These included poets David Whyte and Mary Oliver; novelists Shusaku Endo, Chaim Potok, Paulo Coelho, Sue Monk Kidd; memoirists Etty Hillesum, Will Campbell, Karen Armstrong, Anne Lammott, Rachel Naomi Remen; philosophers Rene Girard, Jacque Ellul; psychologists/psychotherapists Carl Jung, Richard Schwartz, Carol Dweck; Buddhist/spiritual teachers Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield, Adyashanti, Meher Baba.

I’m sure I’m forgetting more folks who have shaped me deeply.

art by Kristin Noelle

art by Kristin Noelle

3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

Self-compassion takes many forms for me, but I think they all begin with consciousness – getting conscious of judgmental, critical, or shame-based thoughts about myself. The more I practice awareness, even when I don’t follow up on that awareness with self-kindness, the more I feel myself changing. I feel much more resilient now than I was five or ten or even one year ago, for example – much more able to shift out of non-compassion and into compassion once I notice myself lacking it.

I consider thoughts like, “Huh. I’m being critical of myself right now,” totally worth celebrating.

art by Kristin Noelle

art by Kristin Noelle

4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

I struggle to accept my pace a lot – related to goals around work, goals around my yard and home, changes I’d like to make in habits and relationships. My pace feels slower than I’d wish it to be. I imagine myself looking back on the me of today with so much compassion for the shame I feel around that, and the suffering that my impatience with myself causes me.

kristinselfieI don’t know about you, but I feel calmer, more peaceful simply reading Kristin’s answers, looking at her art, seeing her kind smile — this is the impact her work, her presence, her offerings always have on me, and why I am filled with so much gratitude and love for her, today and always. To find out more about Kristin, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Anna Guest-Jelley.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.

Something Good (on a Tuesday)

1. This quote from David Whyte, from his Readers’ Circle Essay, “Self Knowledge.”

Self-knowledge is not clarity or transparency or knowing how everything works, self-knowledge is a fiercely attentive form of humility and thankfulness, a sense of the privilege of a particular form of participation. It is a coming to know of the way we hold the conversation of life, and perhaps, above all, the miracle that there is a particular something rather than an abstracted nothing and that we are a very, very particular part of that particular something.

2. My 30-Day Blog Love Affair:: Day #1. It’s on! from Flora Bowley.

3. The Definition of Practice on Elephant Journal, in which James Carpenter says, “And what does not practicing mean? I think it means dealing with those times when you feel like you’re not good enough, strong enough or prepared enough to get what you want.”

Also on Elephant Journal, Finding the Courage to Be Yourself by Aimee Hoefler.

4. From Jennifer Boyken:

Did you grow up hearing this: “Don’t cry or I’ll give you a reason to cry.” If you rebelled, even just a little, did you hear: “You ought to be ashamed of yourself?”

Society and parenting was different a generation ago. Many little girls were raised to blend in and not make a ruckus. As a result, many of us are still uncomfortable and inexperienced at expressing anger. Instead, it comes out sideways — via depression, moodiness, passive aggressiveness, and the like.

5. 10 Reasons Why You Have To Quit Your Job This Year on Thought Catalog.

6. From Tama J. Kieves,

You will let go of attachment in your own right time. You will leap. You will stay. You will know what to do. Never believe you are doing it wrong. You are doing it the way you are doing it and that will teach you everything.

7. From Pema Chödrön,

The path of meditation and the path of our lives altogether has to do with curiosity, inquisitiveness. The ground is ourselves; we’re here to study ourselves and to get to know ourselves now, not later. People often say to me, “I wanted to come and have an interview with you, I wanted to write you a letter, I wanted to call you on the phone, but I wanted to wait until I was more together.” And I think, “Well, if you’re anything like me, you could wait forever!” So come as you are. The magic is being willing to open to that, being willing to be fully awake to that. One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we are. That’s not considered to be a problem; the point is to see it.

8. How I Finally Gave Up Dieting, by Annabel Adams, a guest post on A Weight Lifted.

9. The Best Life Advice From Maya Angelou on Flavorwire.

10. Powering Down from Judy Clement Wall, which includes a bunch of good links, including Show the World Your Magic, a post by artist Mati Rose, and Relax. You’re Already Ok. Also: Pimp Suits in which Meg Worden says “But you should also know that just surviving all of the intensity and grief you have had to survive in this one go-round and still waking up every day and making a play for love is so beautiful it could crush my heart.”

11. Simplify for Your Best Health from Be More With Less. If I had to do a purge, this is one of the blogs that I simply would not give up.

12. Rodger Ebert died this week, only one day after I’d heard that his cancer had come back, barely enough time to comprehend that news before there was worse. A few of his quotes that I’ve been carrying around this week are:

Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

And this,

When I am writing, my problems become invisible, and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.

He wrote a piece for Salon in 2011, I do not fear death, in which he said, “I will pass away sooner than most people who read this, but that doesn’t shake my sense of wonder and joy.”

13. My Well-Fed Life: Laura Simms, from Rachel Cole, in which Laura says, among other brilliant and wise things, “Well-fed is asking ‘what are you truly hungry for?’ and daring to act on the answer.”

14. Reasons My Son Is Crying–you’ll want to laugh, you’ll want to cry.

15. Finding Me Some Outgoing Guts and Imagination from the amazing teacher and wild writer Laurie Wagner. (P.S. I get to finally tell her to her sweet face how much I adore her later this year).

16. From Brave Girls Club Daily Truth Email, something I really needed to hear,

Sometimes the things that are tugging at our hearts come with strings attached that feel too risky, too difficult, to scary to follow.

Sometimes we keep doing the same things day after day, even though we are treading AGAINST the water, even though we really want to be doing something else, even though we want to be somewhere else or with someone else, even though all signs point to a totally different direction.

You know what you are supposed to do, lovely…you know the answer. Your intuition has been telling you for SUCH a long time, and every day that goes by, the little messages keep getting stronger, the miracles keep showing up, the signs keep appearing….in ways that you can not deny.

It doesn’t matter if your path is not a common one. It doesn’t matter if some people will not understand…sometimes it doesn’t even matter whether WE understand all of it. What matters is that you follow YOUR heart…that you listen to YOUR soul….that you do what YOU are meant to do.

That’s what matters. Now, get busy….you know what to do. You are so loved. xoxo

17. This truth, from My Son is Smarter than Me on Nourishing the Soul,

We are all born with a natural sense of what our bodies need to flourish. Nature doesn’t want us to eat too much or too little. It wants us to grow into the size and shape that’s right for us – and that takes eating as much as is right for us. Not as much as some “expert” tells us is the right amount. If we can cut through all the static, we are our own experts.

18. Some really important questions from Kristin Noelle’s post on Trust Tending, Where the race for change can’t lead, “How can my soul come more alive? How can I say YES to my callings? How can I cultivate what it takes to live beyond the dictates of my fear?”

19. 30 Beautiful Things Happening Now from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

20. This wisdom from a post on Scoutie Girl, A Little Restraint Goes a Long Way, “A little restraint goes a long way and it doesn’t work for me if it starts to touch on my inherent worth as a human being. As soon as refraining is beating myself up I’ve lost the game.”

21. sunken treasure – the house of sophie schellekens, a link originally shared in this post on decor8, Inspired by Plants.

22. How to Eat Real Food Without Spending Hours in the Kitchen, a guest post by Jules Clancy on Zen Habits.

23. On Being a Teacher by Susannah Conway. She is such an inspiration to me, how she is making her living.

24. good reads: elle decor uk. from SF Girl by Bay.

25. Your Daily Life: Only Kindness Matters on 37 Days, Patti Digh’s blog.

26. Note from The Universe,

And the day will come when all of the gold in the world will not appeal to you as much, Jill, as just one more day of being who and where you already are, with what you already have. If it hasn’t already.

27. Olivia Rae James, who takes gorgeous photographs, shared by SF Girl by the Bay in this post.

28. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: 3 Paths Toward a More Creative Life, and How to do less and live more from Kris Carr (did I share this already?).

29. Thoughts on the Creative Career by Ze Frank

30. Happiness Images In Sidewalk Art, Stickers, Magnets And More (PHOTOS) on Huffington Post.

31. What’s in my Fridge by Kris Carr.

32. This wisdom, a wish and a warning, “In the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness,” Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

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

message from a "secret admirer" on my car this morning :)

message from a “secret admirer” on my car this morning 🙂

1. The Makeover on SF Girl By Bay, in which Victoria Smith shares before and after pictures of her new cottage. I love her sense of design, scan through the pictures in her blog posts (*drool*) before going back to actually read them. Design Sponge wrote a profile about her in which she talks about being a business woman, (link originally shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend list).

2. The Joy of Missing Outon the Aesthetics of Joy, originally shared by Pugley Pixel on her Links Loved list.

3. This quote from Louis Proto, “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

4. Hello 40: 40 Lessons from 40 Yearsfrom Susannah Conway. Also from Susannah, Self-Care in The Real World.

5. What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space on 99U.

6. It’s Time to Come Out of the Closet…(& quit hiding!) from Kute Blackson, in which he says

There is a vulnerability in showing who you really are to the world. It is a risk to step out and say, “This is who I am!” But to hide the real you in the closet of your fears is to be a part of the living dead. There’s no refunds in life. Hiding and playing small serves no one. And the “love” you get by being someone other than who you really are is never truly fulfilling…and you know it.

7. This quote from Pema Chödrön, about being free from fixed mind,

Rather than living a life of resistance and trying to disprove our basic situation of impermanence and change, we could contact the fundamental ambiguity and welcome it. We don’t like to think of ourselves as fixed and unchanging, but emotionally we’re very invested in it. We simply don’t want the frightening, uneasy discomfort of feeling groundless. But we don’t have to close down when we feel groundlessness in any form. Instead, we can turn toward it and say, “This is what freedom from fixed mind feels like. This is what freedom from closed-heartedness feels like. This is what unbiased, unfettered goodness feels like. Maybe I’ll get curious and see if I can go beyond my resistance and experience the goodness.”

8. This quote from Jack Kornfield, “Peace is born out of equanimity and balance. Balance is flexibility, an ability to adjust graciously to change. Equanimity arises when we accept the way things are.”

9. Find Your Flow from Kristin Noelle on Trust Tending.

10. Note from the Universe“No matter how great the desire is to please another, Jill, let it be no greater than the desire to be yourself. Otherwise ain’t no one happy.”

11. Worthiness Wednesday #82: drop out, tune in from Kat at I Saw You Dancing. Also from Kat, Our mothers, our daughters.

12. Wings and Bones from Lisa Field-Elliot on Doorways Traveler. Beautiful and real, as always. Especially this line, “what there is time for in my life now is the depth and discomfort of introspection.” I think I might be living in this line.

13. Dear Photograph.

14. Her Idea: An Illustrated Allegory about Procrastination and the Creative Process on Brain Pickings.

15. From my Inner Pilot Light,

Please – take a breath – and let go of that drive to be perfect. I know you feel pressure to get it right, to deliver, to outperform, to be Superhuman. But let me fill you in on a little secret. Your imperfections are your gateway to intimacy. When you’re willing to be vulnerable, to expose your big ugly tail, to share your imperfections with others, they see in you their own imperfections, and they feel connected, and you give them a gift – letting them off the hook, giving them permission to be imperfect, just like you. Then – swoon – two imperfect beings can bond, and compassion grows, and intimacy thrives. You don’t have to always get it right. And when you don’t, you don’t have to keep it a secret.

And this,

The next time you’re tempted to judge someone, take a deep breath and add to the end of your judgment “And I am too.” Remember that what most irritates, angers, insults, or annoys us about others is often a reflection of something unseemly we see in ourselves, some shadow side of ourselves we’re running away from. Instead of running away, be brave enough to face your own shadows. Stare into the darkness and own it. Then stop projecting onto other people, and grant them the gift of grace instead. Remember that you just don’t know what’s going on for that person you’re tempted to judge. You don’t know what loss they suffered today, what trauma has been inflicted upon them, what disappointment they’re facing, what illness they’re up against, what heartbreak they’re in the midst of. Instead of judging yourself or others, try opening your heart, forgiving, letting go of expectation, and loving unconditionally. Such actions bless not just others, but YOU. Need help loving so big? I’m right here, darling.

16. This looks so yummy, Plum Crumble Cake Recipe on Decor8.

17. Pretty Girls Making Ugly Faces.

18. “All you have to do is to pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.” -Paulo Coelho, The Zahir (from 37Days, Your Daily Rock).

19. Secrets spilled in life’s final minutes on CNN.

20. Old Town Fort Collins Flickr pictures from CSU. I love where I live.

21. Dr. Weil’s Life with Dogs, a sweet video in which he says “I can’t imagine a dogless life.” Amen. He even has a Pinterest board, “Pets & Pet Care.”

22. Morality, My Ass on Elephant Journal, originally shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list.

23. 35 Gut Checks When Founding Your First Company by Jordan Cooper.

24. This quote from Chögyam Trungpa,

Any confusion you experience has within it the essence of wisdom automatically. So as soon as you detect confusion, it is the beginning of some kind of message. At least you are able to see your confusion, which is very hard. Ordinarily people do not see their confusion at all, so by recognizing your confusion, you are already at quite an advanced level. So you shouldn’t feel bad about that; you should feel good about it.

25. Menswear Dog. He’s so handsome.

26. How 1 Hour on Sundays Will Change Your Life, on MindBodyGreen.

27. “You yourself are your own obstacle – rise above yourself.” ~Hafiz And, seemingly related, this: “The only person that can destroy you, is you.” ~Andrea Owen

28. Amo La Vida by Soul Biographies. “Look what you have.”

29. The Sweetest Friendship, a boy and his dog.

30. Relax! You’ll Be More Productive from the New York Times.

31. The Big List of Green Smoothies(link originally shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend list).

32. “Drama in our lives is the greatest indicator that we’re not focused on meaningful goals. On the path to purpose you don’t have time for drama.” ~Brendon Burchard

Something Good

image by Sharon Pruitt of Pink Sherbet Photography

Colossal: An art and design blog. This site shares the coolest stuff. Consider yourself warned: once you start looking, you might not be able to stop.

Danielle LaPorte’s Burning Question series. As a writer, I love to use these as prompts, but I think they are valuable even if you aren’t a writer or blogger, even if you don’t regularly journal or keep a diary. Just take a moment to contemplate, because, as Danielle says “Generally, I think people should ask more questions. Of themselves. Of each other. Questions are doorways that lead to higher consciousness… or pop culture trivia. Both are good. Join in.”

This quote, from Brene’ Brown’s latest TED Talk: “Vulnerability is not weakness….vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” To acknowledge your fear, let it touch your tender heart, to be brave anyway, to keep your heart open, to remain vulnerable rather than closing up, numbing out, hiding away is courageous.

This quote, from Cheri Huber “The best preparation we can make for another time and place is to drop everything else and be present in this moment.”

image by Sharon Pruitt of Pink Sherbet Photography

An Erica Experiment: Saying Goodbye to TV… This post by Erica Staab, one of my new favorite amazing women, combines three of my favorite things: Erica Staab, Kristin Noelle (check her out, she’s also amazing), and the mindful TV viewing, digital detox revolution. Eric and I gave up regular TV for the last time in 2004, and it was one of the smartest, best things we ever did. Even if you don’t want to give it up completely, it’s good practice to do so for a week and see what you might notice or learn, about yourself or your life. It just so happens that Danielle LaPorte’s burning question for this week is “What would you like to stop doing?

This post on Keri Smith’s blog: Make your own damn world. “Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping…Stop it and just DO!” Like I always say, if you are waiting for something to happen, stop waiting and happen. Or, stop doing altogether and just be.

My topography, Christina Rosalie’s blog. There’s a good chance I mentioned this once already, but it bears repeating. I first heard of this in my Blogging from the Heart class. Susannah Conway interviewed Christina about blogging, and I fell in love with how she talked about it–for example, she describes her mission statement for her blog this way “To offer evidence that it’s possible to begin, to dream things real, and to find the narrative of your soul in the midst of the uncertainty and the messiness of the moment at hand”–so I went over to visit her site, and I fell utterly in love with her, her gorgeous writing about small, simple things, things that are massive, brilliant, and heartbreakingly real.

Gwyn-Michael’s latest post on Scoutie Girl, learning to see again. the beauty in the breakdown. She says “What is mine to do in the world is to awaken people to other ways of seeing. To inspire hope where there is doubt, love where there is pain…I am an artist using my hands to show, my heart to see, and my voice to tell. I believe there is beauty in the breakdown, and I am not alone.” After a week of not being well, the wreck and raw of post retreat, a speeding ticket, the death of a loved one, and yet also so much beauty and love, I am with you, Gwyn-Michael.

from gwyn-michael's post

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: Being content is what will make us successful.

In this video, psychologist and teacher Shawn Achor argues that happiness inspires productivity. He says we are confused when it comes to success and happiness, because we think the formula is “if I work harder, I’ll be more successful, and when I’m more successful, I’ll be happy” and that’s not it at all. “90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by your external world [your measurable success], but by the way your brain processes the world.” Being negative, neutral, or stressed does not bring happiness, (and thus, not as much success either). Happiness, as your perspective, is the center that generates everything else. In order to cultivate and strengthen this center, he suggests (and has found to be true through research) keeping a gratitude list, journaling about one positive experience a day, exercising, meditating, and practicing random acts of kindness–mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, connection to your body, and embodiment of the present moment.

Not only do we discover happiness resting in the present moment with this attitude, but we are more creative and productive. Shawn Achor suggests, at the end of this talk, that discovering contentment for ourselves, understanding that success is not what makes us happy, we can send out ripples of positivity and create a true revolution.

P.S. I think I may have made this video sound a bit stuffy and dry, but his delivery is really fun, so you should watch.

 

2. Truth: There is a you-shaped hole.

You are necessary, and only you can be you. I am on the Trust Tending with Kristin Noelle mailing list (Trust Note), and a few days ago, she sent one with the subject line “Trust Note: You-Shaped Hole.” Her message is so important, I’ve been passing it along every chance I get. She said:

Yes. You matter.

As humans move toward greater wholeness, your piece of that whole can’t be filled by anyone but you. Your perspective, your experiences, your voice: they bring balance to the rest of ours. They’re a mirror for some of us, showing us things about ourselves we need to see. And they’re windows for just as many more – glimpses past the boxes and walls we inevitably and inadvertently construct around our sense of what’s real and true and worth seeing.

There’s a you-shaped hole in our collective experience and I hope with all my heart you’re stepping into it with all the trust you’ve got.

3. Truth: “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are,” (Chinese Proverb).

In my yoga class on Sunday, my teacher said “when we engage, we tend to tense up, and we need to learn to practice soft, gentle engagement.” This is so true. When we push, when we are aggressive, this is not right action. We must connect with gentleness, move with ease, relax into this very moment, just as we are and just as it is.

P.S. I just saw today that Susan Piver has an article on the Huffington Post, “Meditation, Relaxation and the Self-Help Demon” where she talks about meditation as a tool for relaxing into reality. It’s a really great read.

One wish:

Trust yourself. Be yourself. Be happy and relax, and in so doing, allow success and contentment, whatever that ends up being or looking like, no matter how quickly or slowly it happens, to organically arise.

image by Kristin Noelle

Two related posts so worth the read:

  • Stop Searching and Start Being” by Daniel Collinsworth on Metta Drum, in which he says “You are not incomplete, and there is nothing you must search for. You only have the work of nurturing and developing those aspects of You that you feel driven to bring forth. They are already present within you.” He uses the cultivation of a tree from a seed as a really powerful metaphor for how we sometimes forget what it takes to grow, to remind us that “what we are searching for already exists as a seed within us.”
  • Why I haven’t wanted to write about eating” by Anna Guest-Jelley on Curvy Yoga, in which she talks about learning to trust herself. She shares that before she learned “I was still very much overriding my intuition at every turn, thinking it was clearly too stupid to guide me, considering how I looked and felt” but that now “I think intuitive eating means showing up for our unique and individual work of doing whatever it is we need to do to get back in touch with our feelings and body. We can share tips and support each other, but the exact roadmap will be different for each of us.”

So again, kind and gentle reader, trust yourself, be yourself. And remember that there is a you-shaped hole, a missing piece of a much larger puzzle, necessary to the wholeness of all the rest of it, the rest of us.

Something Good

Hammock

I first heard of Hammock on Susannah Conway’s “Something for the Weekend” list. She posts every Friday, and quite often, a few things from her list end up on my Monday’s Something Good post. I have been listening to them all morning, and their music is so beautiful, it breaks my heart. On Rhapsody, they are classified as “Shoegazer,” which is one of my favorite genres of music.

Slow Living

I’ve been obsessed with the Voluntary Simplicity Movement since I first discovered it in graduate school. It named and defined a longing I felt deep in my belly, the way I wanted my life to look, to be. This weekend, I read a description of Slow Living and felt the same recognition, a longing named.

Slow Living is the choice to live consciously with the goal of enhancing personal, community and environmental well being. Slow Living recognizes the role that time plays in shaping the quality of our lives. By slowing down we make time to savor our experiences and to connect more fully with others. The process of slowing down involves simplifying our lives and minimizing distractions so that we have more time and more energy to focus on what is meaningful and fulfilling. By consciously choosing to do less, we contribute to reducing some of the negative social and environmental impacts of our actions.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Quote

“The point of meditation is to feel alive.” Oh yeah. I want to go to there.

Blog post by Justine Musk

Things Smart Women Know.”

A Human Thing

I’m sad, because yesterday we finished our 41 6-Word Days on A Human Thing, but happy because Judy Clement Wall, author of the site, has only just begun. She also writes the blog Zebra Sounds, another good thing.

Great posts on Scoutie Girl

Taming the Giant Incongruence” and “Gestures, Ripples, and Wealth: What Does it All Mean?

Post from Sandi Amorim of Deva Coaching

Are You Ready to Listen?” describes a really powerful, yet simple practice.

Promise #90 from Twisted Pinky

You are Perfect,” which says ‎”If you think you need to change, then change, but know this: you won’t become more perfect or most perfect or perfecter or perfectest.”

New post on Truth Tending with Kristin Noelle

I am wishing you a wonderful Monday, dear reader. May you have your own long list of good things.