Category Archives: Video

Day of Rest

All you need to do to understand everything about me is to watch this video. It’s absolute heaven: Daniela Andrade’s beautiful voice, the tender sadness that is Christmas, twinkly lights, and the cutest little dog, a mood that is melancholy but also peaceful — everything I love. I was going to save this for my Something Good list tomorrow, but I didn’t want you to miss it.

Something Good

1. Meanwhile: An Illustrated Love Letter to the Living Fabric of a City and Our Shared Human Longing to Be Understood on Brain Pickings. I might need this book.

2. 14 Benefits of Mindfulness. {Infographic} on Elephant Journal.

3. Wisdom from Ringu Tulku,

A feeling has arisen in the mind, like a cloud. Like a cloud, it appears and then it disappears, and that’s all there is to it. This time it is sadness arising, the next time it may be happiness, the next time it may be anger, and later it may be kindness. All sorts of things arise, like wildflowers in a spring meadow. All sorts of flowers grow; all sorts of thoughts and emotions arise. They are all okay; they’re nothing special. When we understand what our thoughts and feelings are, and we experience them in this way, we are able to let them come and let them go.

4. In his most recent newsletter, Austin Kleon shared some really good articles about the problematic nature of the assertion that we should all “do what you love”: In the Name of Love, and The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why “Do What You Love” Is Bad Advice, and Do What You Love.

5. Good stuff on Bored Panda: The Winners Of The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, and Intimate And Playful Dog Portraits By Elke Vogelsang, and The 30 Happiest Animals In The World That Will Make You Smile, and Japanese Photographer Takes Beautiful Sun-Kissed Photos Of Cats.

6. Wisdom from Rainer Maria Rilke,

Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final.

7. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 5 Things I Miss About Weighing More Than 300 Pounds, and 10 Things That Will Happen When You Start Pursuing Your Dreams, and 10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Therapy. Also Why I Hate “Bikini Body” Pressure + How To Get Over It For Good, which says “Deprivation has no place in long-term well-being.”

8. More good stuff from Elephant Journal: How to be Productive (an infographic), and 5 Ways You Can Make a Living as a Yoga Teacher.

9. Wow…This 3200 Year Old Tree Is So Huge It’s Never Been Captured In A Single Image. Until Now.

10. How to Get Out of Bed.

11. Nobody Expected This From a Little Girl. What She Was Caught on Video Doing Shocked The World.

12. Good stuff on Viral Nova: A Kindergartner Wrote And Drew The Most Genius ‘How To’ Guide Ever. The Drawings Are Hilarious. and A 31 Year Old Was Sick Of Expensive Rent And High Costs. What He Did Took Guts… But Look Inside. and This Guy Started With Nothing. What He Had Just 6 Weeks Later Made Me Ridiculously Jealous.

13. Garbage Piece from Jeff Oaks. Even his garbage is beautiful.

14. Two beautiful shares from Jessica Patterson,

Boundaries, by Lynn Ungar

The universe does not
revolve around you.
The stars and planets spinning
through the ballroom of space
dance with one another
quite outside of your small life.
You cannot hold gravity
or seasons; even air and water
inevitably evade your grasp.
Why not, then, let go?

You could move through time
like a shark through water,
neither restless or ceasing,
absorbed in and absorbing
the native element.
Why pretend you can do otherwise?
The world comes in at every pore,
mixes in your blood before
breath releases you into
the world again. Did you think
the fragile boundary of your skin
could build a wall?

Listen. Every molecule is humming
its particular pitch.
Of course you are a symphony.
Whose tune do you think
the planets are singing
as they dance?

And

Self-Portrait
by David Whyte

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned,
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eye,
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

15. 10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently on Huffington Post. I haven’t checked, but this seems like the almost exact same list that was about Highly Creative People.

16. Wisdom from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

We do not become healers. We came as healers. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not become storytellers. We came as carriers of the stories we and our ancestors actually lived. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not become artists. We came as artists. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not become writers, dancers, musicians, helpers, peacemakers. We came as such. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not learn to love in this sense. We came as Love. We are Love. Some of us are still catching up to who we truly are.

17. Happy – Pentatonix (Pharrell Cover). I have a soft spot for acapella groups.

18. How I earned my white belt in desire on Superhero Life. I love how Andrea sees everything in her life as an opportunity to learn, to practice, to transform.

19. Orphaned Baby Rhino Loves To Run With Her Rescuers on Huffington Post. You must watch the video.

20. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert, “If you are looking for your home in the world, here is a clue: It’s whatever you love more than you love yourself. (Addiction and infatuation don’t count! Unsafe neighborhoods in which to build a home!) Identify that worthy thing to love, and abide there.”

21. Wisdom from Richard Bach, “There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.”

22.  Wisdom from David Whyte, “You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in.”

23. Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw recipe. Looks yummy.

24. 10 Things I No Longer Believe About Having a Creative Career (and Being an Entrepreneur) from Michelle Ward.

25. When gratitude is harmful from Danielle LaPorte.

26. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

With the commitment to not cause harm, we move away from reacting in ways that cause us to suffer, but we haven’t yet arrived at a place that feels entirely relaxed and free. We first have to go through a growing-up process, a getting-used-to process. That process, that transition, is one of becoming comfortable with exactly what we’re feeling as we feel it. The key practice to support us in this is mindfulness—being fully present right here, right now. Meditation is one form of mindfulness, but mindfulness is called by many names: attentiveness, nowness, and presence are just a few. Essentially, mindfulness means wakefulness—fully present wakefulness. Chögyam Trungpa called it paying attention to all the details of your life.

27. Wisdom from Joseph Campbell,

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

28. 7 Simple Truths about Dressing with Less on Be More With Less.

29. When You Want to Call It Quits Do This Instead… from Dawn Dalili, in which she says,

The escape is temporary. The comfort in going numb is fleeting and often followed by a pain more unbearable than breathing through my fear – it is the pain of living a life that is disconnected from my spirit, my soul, my God, my truth (choose the word that suits you.)

As challenging as it may ever seem to move forward through challenge, I dare say that it’s more challenging to give up. When we give up, our body contracts, our shoulders slouch which closes our hearts, and our energy fades.

30. Sacred Ground from Rachel Cole.

31. Dream Tree from Soul Pancake.

32. ColorHexa. Confession: I have a thing for color tools.

33. From Preacher To Grass Cutter To Earth-Shaking Soul Singer from NPR Music. Watch the video. You won’t believe what comes out of this guy’s mouth.

34. Guy Impressively Sings Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ In 20 Different Styles (Video) from Huffington Post. The final one, the John Mayer version, is worth the watch.

35. Funny Husky tries to talk other dog into giving her a toy (VIDEO) on Dog Heirs.

36. 5 Steps to Declutter Your Schedule and Live Your Desired Life from Becoming Minimalist.

37. Shared on Positively Present Picks: 17 Things You Suddenly Start Doing When You Get An Office Job, and Canva (another cool graphics tool I can’t wait to try), and 15 powerful side-benefits to living in the present moment, and 25 Bold Ways to Avoid the Trap of Overwhelm.

38. Shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend list: her “My Country Home” Pinterest board (I want to go to there), and Porn Burger (warning: if you eat cow, this will make you hungry).

39. How to Put a Toddler to Bed in 100 Easy Steps on Huffington Post.

40. Watch dogs respond to a magic trick.

Reverb 2013: Day 29

reverb13Project Reverb prompt: “List it | List posts are everywhere. Top 10 Ways to be Happier Today. Three Tips for More Energy. Seven Ideas to Stay Focused. Give us a list. Of anything. Your to-do list for the day. Your grocery list. A Buzzfeed inspired list. Anything.”

My favorite videos from 2013.

1. You are not broken and you don’t need to be fixed from Susan Piver.

2. Good Life Project. I love this whole project, but one of my favorites this year was Jonathan’s interview with Lisa Congdon.

3. Gratitude from Moving Art.

4. Kid President. I love everything he does, but this still is my favorite.

5. Draw My Life from Jenna Marbles.

6. Lose Your Little Mind, a video my friend Julia Fehrenbacher made with her friend Alia Indrawan.

7. Beloved by Amy Seeley.

8. Everything Changes from Hopeful World.

9. The ONLY diet you will ever need! from Kute Blackson.

10. Ze Frank. I love almost every video he does, but Sad Dog Diary was one of my favorites.

11. Humans of New York, the theme song, by Lois & Kat.

12. Bat Dad.

13. Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones, in which he explains ancient Buddhist wisdom, the most fundamental dharma without probably even realizing that’s what he’s doing.

14. Tonight You Belong to Me (Cover) – Me and my 4 y.o.

15. Potty Talk! [Original] 3 year old contemplates the effects of his diet on… You knew I couldn’t make a list of my favorite videos without including this one.

16. Chandelier Tree. So beautiful.

17. Pancakes make me want to dance.

#reverb13: Day Four

reverb13Today, one of my prompts for Reverb13 is up. No big surprise, it’s about grief and loss. I wrote,

This past year, we have all experienced so much loss and felt so much grief — in relationships, through sickness and death, from mental illness or abuse, because of finances, even due to the need for healthy change.

It is good to honor those shifts, to fully feel them, so that we can let go of what needs surrendered, and remember what is worthy of our love and gratitude.

What have you lost, what are you grieving?

olderdexterI can’t talk about what I’ve lost in the past year, what I’m grieving without mentioning Dexter. His cancer and eventual death was the most significant event of 2013. I emailed Kat yesterday, (she’s hosting the Reverb13 I wrote this and one other prompt for) and told her, “Almost every day, I’ve been writing about Dexter, as I reflect back on this year, and it’s helping me to honor that experience but also to let go in a way I still haven’t. I’m so grateful for this practice.”

Another big loss this year is my husband’s parents and his aunt moved. For the past five years, they were here, close to us. We’d lived here for almost seven years on our own before that and were fine, but then they came and we had someone else to call when we needed help, a built in dog sitter (one who washed dishes and did laundry when she came over), people to gather with for holidays or just a regular meal any time. We’d come home from work to a container of homemade cinnamon rolls or oatmeal cookies, and there was always someone to help Eric take a load of stuff to the dump or borrow a ladder from. We got used to it, so now being here by ourselves again feels a little lonely.

Another loss is not going to Susan Piver’s Fearlessly Creative: A Meditation and Writing Retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC) at the end of the month. The timing is just off for me this session, and even though I can do a writing and meditation retreat any time for myself at home, and I can drive up to SMC whenever I want, I am really going to miss seeing Susan again. The other grief related to her is the Open Heart Project Practitioner level didn’t end up working out. We aren’t completely disbanded or adrift, things are simply shifting, but we had just completed our 2nd virtual retreat when we got the news and it was sad.

There’s grief about other family stuff, things I don’t write about here, other people’s struggles and secrets that aren’t mine to share, but can’t be ignored, are hard to witness, generate so much suffering. I practice remembering, as Anaïs Nin suggested, “You cannot save people. You can only love them.”

When it was happening, and immediately after, there was a lot of grief around the session I had with a new doctor where she told me I was obese and tried to put me on a diet, told me to do more cardio — all this after I explained I was a dis-ordered eater and was hoping to heal that behavior.

handpocketsbyandrea

this is what obese looks like — when I look at her, all I can see is how hard she tries, all the ways she’s denied herself, how worthy she is of nothing but love (photo by Andrea Scher)

Which leads directly into my answer to the next prompt: 20/20: Hindsight is the one thing we never benefit from in the present.  Is there one moment you wish you could do over? I’m not usually one to wish for do-overs because it seems to imply regret, wanting things to be different, and if that were the case, I wouldn’t be where I am now. For example, from the visit to that doctor came the Self-Compassion Saturday project and the real healing that is happening now, something I had to do for myself. Yes, what she did was awful, but it was the catalyst for something good. Or, I could wish that I’d let Dexter go hiking that day, the one where he stayed home with me and hurt his knee chasing a squirrel in the back yard — and yet, without a hurt knee, he wouldn’t have required physical therapy, and we never would have met Dr. Lindsey Fry and the support staff at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency Hospital. They gave both Dexter and I such good care in those final months. So, rather than wish for a do-over, I choose to accept what’s happened, to be grateful for what I can, learn what I can.

The Besottment Reverb 2013 prompt is “Did you discover a favourite song or musical artist in 2013?” I love music as much as I love books and dogs, so I can’t give just one. These are my three favorite new to me artists I discovered, my three favorite of their songs.

One eskimO, Amazing

Mary Lambert, She Keeps Me Warm

Furns, Power

Something Good

1. In Praise of the Comfort Zone on Scoutie Girl. Something I’ve thought about every time I read something about how you should be pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. So glad someone finally wrote this.

2. 27 Lessons I’ve Learned From (Almost) Five Years of Biz from VioletMinded Media.

3. How To Complete Your Creative Masterpiece Without Quitting Your Day Job from Fast Company.

4. Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening from Tree Hugger. I would totally do this if we had a bigger yard.

5. your daily rock : surprise them with your presence.

6. 14 Ways to Tick off a Writer. I know this is supposed to be funny, but it actually makes me really sad.

7. I’m kind of obsessed with tiny homes. I already live in a small house (1080 square feet), so don’t want to live full time in a smaller one, but would love to have my very own writing cabin/guest cottage within walking distance of my bigger house. Something like these spaces: Micro-community of tiny homes flourishes on rehabilitated vacant lot on Tree Hugger, or 11 Tiny Homes That Will Make You Want To Live A Simpler Life, or even a design like Clever cubbies augment tiny 240 sq. ft. NYC apartment.

8. Dinh Truong Giang, an amazing origami artist.

9. Why do you want to lose weight? from Jamie Mendell.

10. Tea and Red Lipstick with Rachel Cole, an interview with Rachel on The Gift of Writing.

11. Good stuff from Zen Habits: Finding Focus and How I Learned to Stop Procrastinating, & Love Letting Go.

12. Good stuff from Jonathan Fields: Black Friday, Green Planet? and Label Yourself.

13. What would Love do? from Alexandra Franzen.

14. A really interesting offer from the Voice Bureau, INFJ Business, a new digital course.

15. I want to take a nap on this couch.

16. Wisdom from Cigdem Kobu,

The end of the year is a threshold — a passageway from the past
into the future. An opportunity to stop and listen to yourself, to
hear what your heart is really yearning for, to allow yourself to
ask for what you really need, and to find your way back home —
always to yourself.

17. edible rooms: warm lima bean salad with roasted yams and wilted kale a recipe on SF Girl by Bay.

18. Gratitude on Walking on My Hands.

19. Savannah Making Headlines! on Life, Love & Laundry. Pictures of the cutest little girl who has Mitochondrial Disease and loves to dress up in the raddest costumes.

20. New (to me) music from Ruarri Joseph.

and

I love the chorus for this last one: “Well we love and we lose but we need and we choose anyway.”

21. Be Friends with Failure on Doodle Alley.

22. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Wake Up Your Authentic Self, and 7 Yoga Teacher Disconnects, and 10 Signs you’re ready for Yoga Teacher training, and How To Find Yourself, When You’ve Lost Yourself.

23. Stray dog accompanies street musician on Dog Heirs.

24. More beauty than our eyes can bear, a beautiful quote shared by A Design So Vast.

25. Good stuff from Seth Godin: What do we get when we give to a good cause?, and It probably looks higher from up there, and Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear.

26. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

A few words about steadfastness: are you?

If you know what you love, if you know what you want to feel, are you steadfast about it? Do you wake up in the morning remembering it, remembering yourself, aligning yourself like a compass to your true north, regardless of whatever else is happening. Or whomever else.

If it’s the holidays, do you say oh what the hell or do you say, yes, even now. Even this. Even today. Especially today.

It’s a practice, being steadfast with what you love, but most especially, with yourself. I keep remembering this (and as I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter how often you forget, only that you remember. Again and again. Practice remembering. That’s steadfastness itself!). Hear the song you most want to sing to and for and of yourself. Let yourself come back, come back.

27. From Positively Present Picks list: Finish What You Started: 4 Tips to Effectively See Your Projects Through and Snowflakes and Snow Crystals, a Flickr set, “macro shots of natural snowflakes, snow and hoarfrost crystals.”

28. Good stuff from Becoming Minimalist: A Simple, Helpful Guide to Overcome Consumerism and Want to Find Your Life Passion? Start by Simplifying Your Life.

29. Chinese Families with All Their Stuff In A Single Photo By Huang Qingjun on Bored Panda.

30. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves on Facebook,

Overwhelm does not come from too much to do. It comes from lack of clarity. When you’re clear—you know you don’t need to do everything. You just have to do the right thing. The right thing is always the one step you feel guided to do right now.

31. Grateful December from Meghan Genge.

32. A Simple Year, “12 months of guided simplicity.” If I were still taking ecourses, (I’m no longer allowing myself, need to move from being a student to being the teacher), I would definitely sign up for this.

32. Wisdom from Kute Blackson on Facebook,

As you embrace your quirks, flaws, idiosyncrasies. A magical freedom will be yours. The freedom to be all of yourself.

33. bentlily by Samantha Reynolds, Today’s poem: This is what poetry is,

Poetry is the parade
for the gorgeous rubble of memories
that is buried
day after day
by a fresh falling
of moments

so few cute or sad enough
to remember

like this morning
when your dad asked you
if every animal in the book
was a hippopotamus
and you laughed until
you ran out of breath
and announced
I’m having too much fun

we write them trophies
these flutters of time
we pin them up with words
we take their invisibleness
and make it immortal

this is what poetry is
not an observation of profound things
but the hooking
of what would otherwise
blow away.

34. Reverb13, three different options if you are looking for prompts: #reverb13 hosted by Kat McNally (two of the prompts in this set were written by me), Project Reverb, and Reverb 2013 hosted by Besottment.

Something Good

arterylobby1. A Photo Essay: Castle Crags on Rowdy Kitten, a beautiful act of remembering.

2. patterns + running + 10 hours of tv from Jessica Swift, a good reminder about the creative process, about balancing your effort with ease.

3. Obesity epidemic? Try hunger crisis. from Nourishing the Soul, which ends with “if we can recognize what it is we are truly hungry for, we might just be able to satiate ourselves.” Word. If you want more on this, you can always look to Rachel Cole, the Hunger Goddess.

4. On determining your worth from Susan Piver.

5. The Habits Of Supremely Happy People on Huffington Post.

6. your daily rock : cut yourself some slack and your daily rock : we are in this together.

7. Blessedly Imperfect on Painted Path.

arteryexit8. Things to remember on Superhero Life.

9. And I Know It’s Hard on Museful Things by Ken Robert.

10. I’m a F*cking Unicorn. (Or 10 Things to Do When You Get Fired for the First Time.) from Elephant Journal. I feel like I should start reading #6 to myself every morning and see what happens.

11. What, You Don’t Need Me? from Jonathan Fields. We should all aspire to this, no matter what sort of work, parenting, living we do.

12. Stop Juicing: It’s not healthy, it’s not virtuous, and it makes you seem like a jerk on Slate.

13. Good stuff from Seth Godin, The sound of confidence and #BlackFriday = media trap.

14. Program helps low-income elderly and disabled keep their pets on Today@CSU. This seems like a win-win situation, students away from home missing their own dogs or unable to have their own dog while in school and people with dogs who need help caring for them.

15. Things for My Stuff by Jason Good, one of the funniest boy bloggers around.

16. Florida State University AcaBelles – Royals (opb. Lorde).

17. Ward Miles – First Year, a dad films premature son’s miraculous first year. Of course the subject matter pulls at your heart strings, but I’m really sharing this because it’s a beautifully made film.

18. Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often. Seriously people, Kid President is one of the best things e v e r.

19. Good stuff from Buzzfeed: 38 Best DIY Food Gifts, and 29 Adorably Tiny Versions Of Normal-Sized Things, and 23 Signs You’re A Morning Person, and What It’s Like Being A New TA.

20. Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend, a really great TED Talk.

21. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Shaved Brussel Sprout Slaw with Pink Grapefruit and a Maple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe), and Winter Recipes – salted caramel candies + kale chips + a sweet potato salad, and The Art of Getting Started Assignments, and Why Creative People Sometimes Make No Sense, and Our American Revolution.

22. The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel from Danielle LaPorte, in which she says,

You can’t contract your way to freedom.
You can’t punish your way to joy.
You can’t fight your way to inner peace.
The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.

Oh, snap.

23. From Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links list, My Uniform Life (in Five Easy Steps) and Blue Deer Forest Web Hosting and Blogging Services.

24. Everything I know about rest, I learned the hard way from Marianne Elliott.

25. The Necessary Art of Subtraction on Zen Habits.

26. From Positively Present Picks list, Essential Thanksgiving from The New York Times.

27. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Signs You’ve Found Your Calling and Yum! Holiday Stuffins That Will Knock Your Socks Off (recipe).

Letterpress from Impress Studio

Letterpress from Impress Studio

28. Kat McNally is hosting Reverb13 (I have two prompts in the series) and has a new website.

29. The New Black Friday with Sherry Richert Belul.

30. The True Meaning of Non-Attachment and How It Sets You Free from Always Well Within.

31. “Boredom is Rage Spread Thin.” Paul Tillich from Jeff Oaks.

32. 64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief.

Letterpress from Impress Studio

Letterpress from Impress Studio

33. Wisdom from Lao Tzu,

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is acquired.
In pursuit of wisdom,
every day something is dropped.

34. This Dog Can Stack Anything On His Head. You’ll Die Laughing At What His Owner Has Tried. A dog in a hoodie gets me every time.

35. The Art of Cleanup: Ursus Wehrli Playfully Deconstructs and Reorders the Chaos of Life on Brain Pickings.

36. 7 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Everyone Else from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

P.S. Spirit Road, Take Us Home: 100 Animal Card Readings to Usher in the New Year! a great offering from Rachael Maddox that I forgot to tell you about!

Day of Rest

And our story starts:
“We were here.”
~Shane Koyczan

And if you liked that, here are 8 beautiful and heartbreaking poems from Shane Koyczan.

Here’s a collection of pure joy shared by Jen Lemen.

People are always making and sharing beautiful things. These are just some of them. There is so much good in the world. The beautiful mess that is each one of us is just the beginning. Go ahead, say it with me: We were here.