Category Archives: Uncategorized

Something Good

1. Important stuff from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds: Trust Me, I Don’t Wanna Talk About This Shit Either and This Is A Test Of The Emergency Broadcasting System.

2. 100 Days of Investment in Black Lives, “a series of direct actions to invest in Black lives and the organizations that bring dignity to Black Lives.” A really great project from Now We Rise.

3. 5 Calls. “Turn your passive participation into active resistance. Facebook likes and Twitter retweets don’t create the change you want to see. Spend 5 minutes, make 5 calls. There’s one simple and straightforward way to influence the Government that is supposed to represent you: Call them on the phone. Calling is the most effective way to influence your representative. 5 Calls gives you contacts and scripts so calling is quick and easy. We use your location to give you your local representatives so your calls are more impactful.” And if you are like me, this might also help, How to call your reps when you have social anxiety.

4. An Open Letter to Women Who Voted for Trump.

5. People Are Calling This Song The Anthem Of The Women’s March Movement. In related news, Why I Threw Out My Speech for the Women’s March, and An Unpopular Opinion on the Women’s March on Washington, and Some Inconvenient Truths About The Women’s March On Washington, and You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry., and Woman in Viral Photo From Women’s March to White Female Allies: ‘Listen to a Black Woman’, and Some Thoughts On The Women’s March That Already Feels Like So Long Ago Because These Are The End Times.

6. 75 Books for the Next Four Years, “Writers recommend necessary reading for the inauguration day and beyond.” In related news, Forget Nineteen Eighty-Four. These five dystopias better reflect Trump’s US.

7. Autocracy: Rules for Survival.

8. The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet [Infographic].

9. Unwelcome in my Country, Unwelcome in my Church.

Nonviolent resistance was not a matter of sitting back and forgiving, waiting to see what would happen next. Nonviolent resistance was an active refusal to allow derogatory and damaging physical, legal, and cultural violence to continue to take place behind the scenes. Because of the nonviolent resistance movement, which brought the struggle into the open and into America’s living rooms via the television screen, average white Americans had to confront their complicity in a system built on intolerance and violence. They had to confront the fact that they were a part of the system that incited such violence. That this violence was being enacted in their name. The nonviolent resistance movement forced White America to look at the brutality visited on black bodies. It would not allow people to pretend that they did not know the symbols of power this violence was meant to enforce. The nonviolent resistance movement compelled white Americans to understand their culpability in the slapping of all those cheeks.

10. Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves. I’ve probably already shared this, maybe more than once, but it’s a great resource.

11. Why I’m moving my money to a credit union.

12. Three simple ways to support Muslim women. In related news, Trump’s Immigration Ban Is Illegal.

13. Woman Who Caused Emmett Till’s Death Admits to Lying.

14. The U.S. Government Turned Away Thousands of Jewish Refugees, Fearing That They Were Nazi Spies.

15. Week One. “It’s been one week since President Trump took office, here’s a list of everything he has done so far.”

16. The 19 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week.

17. Creating Your Personal Action Plan, an online workshop. “These times call for creative action and resistance. What’s yours to do?”

18. Alternative Facts and Fake News – Verifiability in the Information Society. In related news, Finding Good News.

19. How the Media Should Cover Donald Trump, a video from GQ.

20. A moving speech by Mahershala Ali, one of the actors from Moonlight.

21. ‘Unprecedented’: Trump Adds Bannon to National Security Council, Kicks Out Intelligence Officials. In related news, How Steve Bannon Took Charge Of The Trump Administration, and Trial Balloon for a Coup?, and West Wing leaker goes dark after pulling back the curtain: Trump “irrational”, staff “demoralized.” Something to do about it from Wall of Us, action 3: stop the loose bannon.

22. The Secret Language of Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths: How Abusers Manipulate and Traumatize Their Victims.

23. Each word, image, and video we share online has a ripple effect.

24. This Simple Comic Perfectly Explains Privilege, And Everyone Must Read It.

25. We Are Very Angry from Lisa Congdon about how she’s using her social media platform and her creative expression to contribute to activism.

26. Stop everything: the nation’s zoos are in a vicious, wonderful #CuteAnimalTweetOff.

27. “Sometimes we are so confused and sad that all we can do is glue one thing to another.”

28. How Donald Trump Answers A Question from Nerdwriter, “a weekly video essay series that puts ideas to work.”

29. Approaching Life with Beginner’s Mind from Zen Habits.

30. Former President Barack Obama Issues Statement on Anti-Trump Protests.

Vintage

vintagepillowcase

I love vintage pillowcases. I’m afraid to buy them at a thrift store now because of the recent bed bug scares, (probably not even a real thing I should worry about, but it’s made me cautious anyway). I have a few sets I’ve had for at least a decade. I love the patterns, the colors, the nostalgia, but the best thing is how soft they are, a soft that’s only possible after years and years and years of washing and sleep.

Eight years ago when the vet called to tell me Obi had lymphoma, that the lump wasn’t just cancer but a kind that was incurable, I was home alone with the dogs, waiting for Eric to get home from a work meeting. I ignored his phone call when he was done telling me he was on his way home because I didn’t want to share that information with him over the phone and then have him driving an hour on the highway in rush hour traffic, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to lie, hide it from him if I answered. I needed him to be focused, safe. I needed him to make it home to me in one piece so that I could tell him and then fall apart.

While I was waiting, I took out my sewing kit and started some mending. The hem of one of my vintage pillowcases had started to come unstitched. My hands and my mind needed something to do, something else to focus on. I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t spend more time on the internet, reading anymore about this thing that I couldn’t fix.

The trauma of that hasn’t really left me, along with many other traumas large and small. They still live in my body. Sometimes they are silent, heavy and stuck like dead things. Other times they are triggered and rise up, ripping through me like something sharp and hot, not just alive but murderous.

In an effort to release them, I’m starting EMDR work with my therapist. She told me at the start of our last session that she’s moving out of state by the end of the year, and gave me the option to wait and start with someone else, but I feel like there’s no reason to put this off any longer. She warned me that it can bring up a lot of stuff, be unsettling, but I told her that I feel like I’m in a place where something is going to break anyway, come unhinged, regardless of how or who starts it, and it might as well be under supervision, with support, and now.

Step one of the process is getting a general sense of the various traumas we’ll be working with. We started with my history of sexual trauma. We talked for our whole hour. She filled up an entire sheet of paper with her notes, front and back, and I wasn’t even done. No wonder what Trump said all those years ago and continues to say and justify has me so upset.

This morning as I was putting clean sheets on the bed, I noticed that the pillowcase I mended that day eight years ago has come unstitched again. Something about that seems right, perfectly timed.

 

Something Good

Fish Creek Train, by Eric

Fish Creek Trail, Pinegree Park, by Eric

1. “I trust u, do u trust me?” “Blind Trust Experiment – I am a Black Male, you do not have to fear me! Free Hugs – Montgomery, AL.” We need more of this.

2. Fat fitness: the new breed of body positive exercise trainers. “If you’re feeling that impulse to congratulate me for getting out there and doing something about my weight, stop that thought right there. When I choose to engage in exercise, I don’t do it to change what the scales say or the size of my butt (because I know from decades of sometimes bitter experience that that’s not a productive path to go down). Instead, I choose to treat my body as the precious and indispensable machine it is; in need of maintenance and care rather than moral judgement and harsh punishment. When I exercise I want to feel built up, not shrunk down.”

3. For all that adjunct and part-time professors do for students, many are not even earning a livable wage. The disgusting truth.

4. Here’s why there are literally no stray dogs in Holland. Just one more reason to move there, along with the way they treat drug addiction and prison reform.

5. Recipes I want to try: Apple Pie Bread, and One-Pan Garlic Parmesan Chicken And Vegetables, and Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies, and Cheesy Bacon Potato Bake, and 4 Easy Slow Cooker Dinners, and Creamy Avocado Vinaigrette, and Balsamic Glazed Chicken, and if that’s not enough, now that fall is officially here: 45 Thanksgiving Side Dishes.

6. Pinksourcing, “where women are a bargain at the workplace, since you only have to pay them 77 cents on the dollar! It’s the first episode of our new series, #CelebsHaveIssues.”

7. This 8-year-old girl is the youngest ever to skate in the Vans U.S. Open Pro Series. Every mom who watches this video is going to think, “where is your helmet?!”

8. He’s been there for every part of her life. Watch as she gives him a present he never expected: adoption papers. *sob*

9. Decision making criteria, a really helpful list from Patti Digh.

10. A Herd of Cats Fill Advertising Placements at a London Tube Stop for Two Weeks.

11. Mike Birbiglia on the podcast Sooo Many White Guys. “The actor, comedian and director reveals the truth about maleness AND whiteness in a heart-stopping episode that will leave you breathless.”

12. Relationships can be tricky, a hilarious video of a Husky with his stuffed Husky toy.

13. What They Took With Them. “Cate Blanchett performs the rhythmic poem ‘What They Took With Them’ alongside fellow actors Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Peter Capaldi, Stanley Tucci, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kit Harington, Douglas Booth, Jesse Eisenberg and Neil Gaiman. The poem was written by Jenifer Toksvig and was inspired by stories and first-hand testimonies from refugees forced to flee their homes and items they took with them.”

14. Angels are waiting… from Erica Staab.

15. Handling client anxiety about weight gain from Be Nourished.

16. A tale of two bodies. “Or: Reasons to stop projecting your unhealthy assumptions onto everyone around you.”

17. Bernie Sanders Publishes Stunning OpEd In LA Times, Makes Major Announcement.

18. Dwellings. “These homes were all found in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, all within a mile of my own house. To me, they demonstrate a creative spirit and determination to make a life in this very expensive city.”

19. Atlanta. I am loving this show. “A single camera comedy that revolves around two cousins on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene whose opposing views on art versus commerce, success and race will make their quest anything but easy.”

20. But how much does it cost? from Seth Godin. Such a good reminder.

21. A Caiman Wearing a Crown of Butterflies Photographed by Mark Cowan. Magic.

22. Susan Piver on Writing, Magic, and Meditation. I love her so much. The retreat referenced in the post is amazing. This will be my fourth year going. I get so much writing done, get to see Susan, visit a place I also love, and am reminded who I am.

23. The Art of Withstanding Fear from Jena Schwartz.

24. You don’t need an extreme bucket list to find happiness. Just eat more waffles. Word.

25. Ambien Tales on Terrible Minds. Crazy.

26. Wisdom from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “Don’t teach anyone anything. Help them discover something.”

27. Drink, Drunk, Drank. There’s a book that’s making the rounds right now, a memoir that’s getting a lot of attention, and most of the people reading it are saying it’s so raw, real, authentic, honest, but I read it and I just don’t see it. This piece by Laurie is why. Laurie has taught me what truly raw, vulnerable, real, risky, messy writing is, and I have a hard time now accepting anything less. I am punched-in-the-gut, fall-to-my-knees, want-to-crawl-into-her-lap-and-stay-there-forever lucky that she’s my teacher, my friend, and that she writes things like this.

Gratitude Friday

waldportbeach

1. Being here. At the beach, in Waldport, in our favorite house, in Oregon, on vacation.

beacheagle2. Long walks on the beach. The closest access is only two blocks from our house and if you walk from one end of the beach to the other as far as you can go, it’s about six miles. There are seals that nap on the bayside and a pair of bald eagles.

pbandjandc

3. So much good food. Even just a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich is on a whole other level, (blame it on the marionberry jam and secret ingredient — potato chips!).

4. My tiny family. My three boys, and all the walking and reading and napping and playing and cuddling and couching.

threeboyscouchingringocouching samcouching5. Being close enough that I can visit with family, who I don’t get to see enough.

Bonus joy: quilts made by my aunt, a salad that was so huge it felt like it took three hours to eat it, clam chowder, veggies and berries from the farmer’s market, the very best pancakes, reading, sitting in the sun, watching bad tv with Eric, staying up too late and getting up too early, Ringo feeling better (YAY!), being able to afford a vacation, our new car, new flip-flops, the blister on my foot going away, sunshine after a day of rain, clean water, a warm shower, helpful customer service people, a washer and dryer in our rental, Depoe Baykery, naps, meditating with Ringo in the morning, knowing Sam’s breed (he’s 50% Border Collie and 50% Chesapeake Bay Retriever), the way Ringo ran around the yard like a mad man last night, texting with friends, pictures of our garden back in Colorado from the “farmer” we “hired” to tend it.

Day of Rest

image by eric

image by eric

This is no day of rest. It’s a day early and I’m spending it packing and preparing to leave for our trip to Oregon tomorrow, but I feel compelled to write this now, and might as well post it since it’s already written.

I’ve been thinking a lot about mortality. A sometime student of mine and fellow yoga practitioner died this week. He was young, had just gotten married last year and had a baby boy. His death was an accident, a fall at a construction site, and a shock. I didn’t know him well, but I’d chat with him from time to time. He was one of those people who was always around, always said “hello” and had a smile on his face. He was the nicest guy. I just took a yoga class with him a few weeks ago. And now he’s just…gone.

Death is confusing for those left behind. Especially when the death is sudden and unexpected, but even when it’s not it is so hard to comprehend that someone you knew, someone you loved is just…gone, that you will never see them again. There’s a particular difficulty when you didn’t get to say good-bye, when you didn’t realize that the last time you saw them was the last time you’d ever see them.

Yes
by William Stafford

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could you know. That’s why we wake
and look out–no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

Maybe you are tired of hearing me say it, kind and gentle reader, but life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — keep your heart open. And may all of us, those here and gone, rest in peace.

#reverb15: Radical Acts of Love

magicforest

Prompt: When we heal our spirits the ripples are felt from the highest branches to the deepest roots of our family trees. What radical act of love or non-conformity did you embrace this year? How did performing this alchemy affect your ancestors and what is the gold waiting to be shared with future relations?

I stopped working out with a trainer. This was one step of a larger transformation, but it was one of the biggest. I decided to take back my own power, my own authority over my body. I no longer was going to move my body the way someone else told me to move it. I was no longer going to feel guilt or shame about how I looked. I was no longer going to control and manipulate and punish my body. I wasn’t going to force it to be anything it didn’t want to be. I wasn’t going to regret or reject or even hate it for being something other than.

At the end of meditation practice, we do something called “dedicating the merit.” Basically that means whatever good karma we’ve generated by way of our practice, we offer it in the hopes that it does some good. When I teach yoga, at the end of class, I say “may the merit of our practice together ease suffering, in ourselves and in the world.” It’s in this spirit I imagine the “gold waiting to be shared with future relations.” Maybe the more women who live in a way that honors their body, in a way that nourishes their whole self, the less suffering there will be in the world. And if I can be just one of those women, an example to those who came before me or those who come after, even if I’m an example that’s not entirely successful, I’ll feel like I’ve offered something of value.

Something Good

deadmanroaderic06

Dead Man Road, image by Eric

1. Please help Amy keep her belongings. Like I told Amy, every time I’m able to give, to help, my hope is that if I ever find myself in a similar situation, someone will reach their hand out to me. As Ram Dass says, “we are all just walking each other home.” If a lot of people give just a little, Amy won’t lose her things.

2. Green Juice Will Not Cure Your Cancer.

3. Second graders line up to get yearbook signed by janitor.

4. mother. nature. from Pia Jane Bijkerk.

5. Frankly Speaking: How I Found Purpose.

6. Free week of Daily Dharma Gathering. “The free one-week trial of the Daily Dharma Gathering goes live June 15-21! This is daily online live meditation sessions with some of the world’s most accomplished Buddhist teachers.”

7. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Want to be an artist? Watch Groundhog Day, (which just so happens to be one of my favorite movies), and How to graciously say no to anyone.

8. In ‘Eating Lab,’ A Psychologist Spills Secrets On Why Diets Fail.

9. Before You Dismiss the Concept of Thin Privilege, First Ask Yourself These 4 Questions.

10. GLAAD responds.

11. The Moral Bucket List.

12. On Love from Lisa Congdon.

13. The Parting of the Veils from Laurie Wagner.

14. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: curiously strong, and 10,000 hours, and this shared on her this was a good week list,

15. Here’s How To Plan A Week Of Healthy Snacks on BuzzFeed. The two recipes I want to try are the 3 Ingredient No Bake Peanut Butter Oat Squares and the Crispy Kale Chips.

16. David Sedaris Talks About Surviving the Suicide of a Sibling.

17. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide (Robyn Sherwell Cover). I’m a sucker for every version of this song.

18. Good stuff on Lion’s Roar: Dharma gates are everywhere, says Melissa Blacker and A Day in the Life of the Dalai Lama.

19. A Brief Guide to Kick-Starting Your Memoir — Part 3: Where to Begin.

20. Dogs Steal the Show in This Time-Lapse Pregnancy Video.

21. Watch The Broadway Casts Of “The Lion King” And “Aladdin” In “Pitch Perfect”-Style Airport Sing-Off.

22. Amy Schumer: ‘I’m 160 Pounds, and I Can Catch a Dick Whenever I Want.’

23. A Letter from My Heart to Yours: Why Feminism Matters by Julie Daley.

24. After viral Caitlyn Jenner post, Salem man reconsiders — and sees some irony.

25. Wisdom from Bill Murray, “The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”

26. Artist Hand-Cuts Insanely Intricate Paper Art From Single Sheets Of Paper.

27. Begin it now, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

28. The Long Goodbye: Angelo Merendino photographed his parents waving farewell every time he left home.

29. The Perfect Thing My Doctor Said About My Life With Chronic Illness.

30. How Long You Can Freeze Everything, In One Chart.

31. saltine crack ice cream sandwiches recipe.

32. Parks & Recreation Final Gag Reel with Season 7 Gag Reel/Bloopers & Final Behind The Scenes Clips.

33. I Went Paleo and Now I Hate Everything.

34. Luscious Legacy Project Living Room Tour. “A gathering. A writing circle. A community of story keepers and recipe collectors daughters and wives and mothers.”

35. The Morning After: Then and Now.

36. Wisdom from Brave Girls’ Club:

Dear Insightful Girl, You already know the answers to the questions that are eating away at you…you just have to trust yourself enough to really listen and be brave with your decisions. You know oh-so-much-more than you give yourself credit for. You have a good heart and powerful intuition and you really do know the right way to go… That doesn’t mean it’s always the easiest way to go…but the easiest path never was the most fruitful path….and you are one of the courageous souls who seeks the best fruit. Trust your gut…it has never led you astray.

37. Losing Amy: The heartbreaking loss of my sister to mental illness.

38. Blah, blah, blah from Seth Godin. Such good advice.

39. Truthbomb #814 from Danielle LaPorte, “Make space in your life for the inevitable arrival of what you want.”

40. Modifications for Garudasana (eagle pose) in a larger body from Body Positive Yoga.

41. The Life-Changing Magic of Losing Shit.

42. Chapter 20: Happy New Year.

43. Unsplash Free Photos. What a great resource.

44. 8 Things to Remember When Your Relationship Gets Rough from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

45. The Moment I Learned To Live And Love In The Now.

46. Joy Williams on The Civil Wars and Her New Album, VENUS.

47. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

When someone harms us, they create the cause of their own suffering. They do this by strengthening habits that imprison them in a cycle of pain and confusion. It’s not that we are responsible for what someone else does, and certainly not that we should feel guilty. But when they harm us, we unintentionally become the means of their undoing. Had they looked on us with loving-kindness, however, we’d be the cause of their gathering virtue.

What I find helpful in this teaching is that what’s true for them is also true for me. The way I regard those who hurt me today will affect how I experience the world in the future. In any encounter, we have a choice: we can strengthen our resentment or our understanding and empathy. We can widen the gap between ourselves and others or lessen it.

48. Your Most Frequently Asked Writing Questions, Answered! from Terrible Minds.

49. You Never Really Know What Others Are Going Through. The only thing I feel like I need to add here is that there’s no reason for the people who said they wanted to travel or get a job as a journalist in New York, etc., to feel bad about the things they want in light of the suffering of another. We all have the right to our particular experience. Even when others are suffering, we have the right to joy. We don’t have to be blind to or untouched by suffering to experience joy. There’s room for both, and it doesn’t have to be either/or.

50. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: The six types of motivation and The power of “I am.”

51. Wisdom from Friar Richard Rohr, (thanks to Christine Claire Reed for sharing),

Once we see truly what is trapping us and keeping us from freedom we should see the need to let it go. But in a consumer society most of us have had no training in that direction. Rather, more is supposed to be better. True liberation is letting go of our false self, letting go of our cultural biases, and letting go of our fear of loss and death. Freedom is letting go of wanting more and better things, and it is letting go of our need to control and manipulate God and others. It is even letting go of our need to know and our need to be right–which we only discover with maturity. We become free as we let go of our three primary energy centers: our need for power and control, our need for safety and security, and our need for affection and esteem.

52. Harlem Students Cultivate Emotional Intelligence, Lead Each Other in Meditation.

53. Why healthy eating may be the new eating disorder: Raw food and paleo dieters ‘at risk of a dangerous obsession with nutrition.’

54. The Daily Practice.

55. Yes, You Can Have That (Finding My Way Home to My Spirit) from Mara Glatzel.