Category Archives: ZenPen

Something Good

1. Feast, “an intensive 3-month program for women who want to come home to themselves, make peace with food, and feast on their lives.” I submitted my application about 20 minutes after Rachel opened, that’s how ready I am for this. She’s taking applications now, but just for this week and there are only 30 spots in this session. Other good stuff from Rachel: Go closer and Doing your best.

2. ZenPen ecourse, “Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth.” It starts today, so there’s still time to sign up for the latest session.

3. The lists I look at every week for inspiration:

4. Story Swap at the Lyric Cinema Cafe. Looks fun.

5. Wisdom from Clarissa Pinkola Estes,

[W}e all begin the process before we are ready, before we are strong enough, before we know enough; we begin a dialogue with thoughts and feelings that both tickle and thunder within us. We respond before we know how to speak the language, before we know all the answers, and before we know exactly to whom we are speaking.

6. Wisdom from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

7. This is a little different, something I’m offering to you because I don’t agree with it, but I find it and my disagreement very interesting, worth contemplating: This is why you shouldn’t take people’s Facebook lives seriously.

8. One Model Tried On 10 Different Pairs Of Size 16 Jeans And This Is What They Looked Like on BuzzFeed.

9. Realistic New Year’s Resolutions on The Awl.

10. 10 Ways to Turn Off Your Worries on Psychology Today.

11. The Word from Susannah Conway. We both chose “nourish” as our word this year.

12. Future self, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

13. Responding to Violence and Insanity (one Buddhist’s perspective) from Susan Piver.

14. Wisdom from Andre Gide, “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”

15. 27 Reasons Why I Can Never Be a Writer on McSweeney’s.

16. On Expectations (and the promise of 2015) from Sandi Amorim.

17. Why dreaming big almost cost me my self from Jennifer Louden, who has a gorgeous new website design.

18. My wish for your 2015, a poem from Cynthia Morris, who also has a gorgeous new website design.

19. A Note from the Universe, “I know this may come as somewhat of a shock, Jill, but of your innumerable and extraordinary gifts, one day you’ll consider your present day challenges as the greatest of them all. Trust me.”

20. Margaret Atwood’s charming Reddit AMA.

21. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel.

22. the thrive portraits from Chookooloonks.

23. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “life is much too short to ever stick around a person who makes you feel like you are difficult to love.” (Unless of course the person is you, and then you’ve got to figure that shit out).

24. Stop Waiting To Love Yourself Because Of Your Weight on Rebelle Society.

25. Watch Jimmy Fallon learn he totally missed Nicole Kidman’s decade-old come-on.

26. Five things the diet industry doesn’t want you to know in 2015.

27. Overcoming Objections to Body Acceptance from Isabel Foxen Duke.

28. My Indecorous Word of the Year from Laura Simms.

29. belonging to the body from lists & letters.

30. From Addicted Teen to Acclaimed Therapist: The Inside Story on the Good Life Project.

31. A Boy Said She Was Too Ugly To Touch. She Believed It For 10 Years. Here’s What She Has To Say Now. on Upworthy, from Soul Pancake.

32. Why “I am enough” isn’t enough on Life with Lucia.

33. Kill Inner Clutter Before it Kills You on Be More with Less.

34. Commuters push train off man whose leg became trapped between carriage and platform. This is who we are.

35. America, please stop raising assholes on Renegade Mothering.

36. To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This on The New York Times. And a related article that includes the 36 questions the author references, No. 37: Big Wedding or Small?

37. Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: 15 Resolutions for 2015 from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds on Brain Pickings.

Something Good

Frozen City Park Pond

Frozen City Park Pond

1. Let’s make some magic in 2014, Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook.

2. My Word of the Year for 2014 and The Importance of Outtakes! from Vivienne McMaster. She also wrote a wonderful guest post for Rachel Cole.

3. Wisdom from Danna Faulds,

Despite illness of body or mind,
in spite of blinding despair or
habitual belief, who you are
is whole. Let nothing keep you
separate from the truth.

4. Puppy reunited with his dad after being found under rubble 9 days after tornado destroyed home on Dog Heirs, (and his name is Dexter). Every time you read a story like this, the dog’s person always says something like this one did, that he’d lost everything but he was okay because he’d found his dog. When disaster strikes, we don’t care so much about our stuff, we just want our dogs (people, other pets) to be okay.

5. Good stuff from Viral Nova: A Retired Mathematician Found A Rotting Cabin From 1830. What He Did With It Is Perfection. and Here Are The 28 Cutest Things That Have Ever Happened. #20 Made My Entire Year. and See That Tiny Entrance? A Guy Just Went Down There… And You Gotta See What He Found. and This Little Terrier Got That Rottweiler Pregnant. And You’re Gonna Want To See Their Puppies, Trust Me.trust ME, they are stupid cute!

6. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 12 Lies People Love to Tell You and 7 Smart Ways to Deal with Toxic People.

7. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: finding peace and announcing create.2014!

8. Wisdom from Mark Nepo, “No matter how we study or analyze or hone our skills, the greatest teachers have always been love and suffering.”

9. Desire: Hedonism or Happiness? from Jonathan Fields, in which he says,

Sometimes I still need to do the things I hate doing. The things that don’t let me feel the way I want to feel. I don’t entirely buy the fact that if the ride doesn’t feel the way you want to feel at every step along the journey, there’s something wrong.

Especially as a maker, a creator, an entrepreneur. There are times you need to do what you’re least called to do until your endeavor is far enough along to generate the cash, resources, story, energy needed to pay people to do the things that light them up, but empty you out.

10. Marc Johns calls this one life as a tennis racket, but I think you could just call it “Life.”

11. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

When I talk about peace, people sometimes mistakenly think that this means detaching yourself from the stream of life. They view peace as if it were something strange, maybe a numbed or sleepy feeling, or being spaced-out and in a different mental zone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can be ‘‘peaceful’’ when you are asleep, but that is only the absence of consciousness. The way to truly heal your life is to be awake to its simple joys and to develop an open, welcoming attitude toward all your activities and encounters with other people. You should enjoy yourself and be fully engaged in what you do.

Notice when you feel open and peaceful. Be aware of any feeling of freedom. Awareness is the key. If you are aware of peace, it has a chance to become part of your life. When you feel peaceful, enjoy it. Don’t force your feelings or chase after them or stir up false excitement. There’s no need to grasp. Simply be aware and let the feeling blossom and open. Allow it to expand. Stay with any positive feeling; allow your mind to relax in it. You may find your body feeling peaceful, too. If your breathing feels more relaxed, or you feel a sensation of warmth, pause to notice that as well and enjoy it.

12. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Our habitual patterns are, of course, well established, seductive, and comforting. Just wishing for them to be ventilated isn’t enough. Mindfulness and awareness are key. Do we see the stories that we’re telling ourselves and question their validity? When we are distracted by a strong emotion, do we remember that it is part of our path? Can we feel the emotion and breathe it into our hearts for ourselves and everyone else? If we can remember to experiment like this even occasionally, we are training as a warrior. And when we can’t practice when distracted but know that we can’t, we are still training well. Never underestimate the power of compassionately recognizing what’s going on.

13. Artist Creates Elaborate Non-Photoshopped Scenes in Her Small Studio, amazing and beautiful.

14. Real-Life Fox And The Hound Best Friends Will Melt Your Heart on BuzzFeed. This dog reminds me so much of Dexter.

15. How to Love and be Loved, by a dog on Storyline.

16. before the beginning by Sas Petherick.

17. The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide – Part Three from Rachel Cole.

18. 2013 Meaningful Gift Guide from Create as Folk.

19. Sometimes You Just Need a Snack and a Nap from Curvy Yoga.

20. Kid President’s Holiday Gift Guide.

21. A legacy of Mandela from Seth Godin. My favorite line is, “If you don’t require the journey to be easy or comfortable or safe, you can change the world.”

22. “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
~Chinese Proverb

23. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: Why I Don’t Recommend A Vegan, Raw, Paleo Or Gluten-Free Diet and 25 Questions To Ask Yourself Before The End Of The Year and 4 Things Women Need To Stop Apologizing For.

24. Artist weaves delightful ‘bio-sculptures’ & animal habitats out of wood on Tree Hugger.

25. Brené Brown on the Courage to be Vulnerable on the On Being podcast.

26. your daily rock : listen to your life

27. Man’s snow storm ‘bread and milk’ freakout goes viral.

28. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves

Do not believe your fear. You will not be stuck forever. Things will shift. The way will open. This is a Universe of Love. The only reason it’s hard to trust is because you keep caressing your anxiety instead of moving forward. Take the steps you can take. The light always emerges.

29. The Why We Rescue project is complete, all 50 states are up. This project is one of the best things of 2013.

30. Keep Your Day Job, advice from Austin Kleon.

31. What are you building in the New Year? (Get it down on paper. Start here.) from Alexandra Franzen.

32. From Positively Present Picks: 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer, (I don’t necessarily agree with all of these), and Spending Time with Some Difficult People over the Holidays? Consider These Tips. and A Beautiful Mess photo app.

33. Give the Gift of Self-Compassion, another post about the Self-Compassion Saturday series.

34. Another round of ZenPen the ecourse is open for registration.

Something Good

1. Fall session of ZenPen, “Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth” from my dear friend Courtney Putnam starts September 30th.

2. Finding Freedom and Writing Memoirs with Meg Worden, an interview on BlogCast FM.

3. Funny stuff from Elephant Journal, Sorry about all the poop: The 10 Commandments of Your Dog and Conan O’Brien and Louis CK “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy.” And not so much funny as true, The Truth About Hitting Bottom.

4. An excerpt from The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel.

5. A Bunch Of Young Geniuses Just Made A Corrupt Corporation Freak Out Big Time. Time For Round Two. on Upworthy. Boulder certainly is one of my favorite things about Colorado, for reasons just like this.

6. 36 Surreal Instagram Images From Burning Man. I’m not hip enough to attend, and besides it would be too hot and there would be too many people for me, but I’m so glad that something like it exists.

7. Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? on Tiny Buddha, (and, the answer is “uh, yes!”). Also from Tiny Buddha, 10 Journaling Tips to Help You Heal, Grow and Thrive.

8. Honor the Signs Your Future Self is Sending You and Finding Your Creative Flow: 17 Writer’s Tricks to Get Un-stuck and Start Creating on Scoutie Girl.

9. A few thoughts & actions that will help you open up more and Money: A Love Story. Kate Northrup & I talk debt, cash, freedom. from Danielle LaPorte.

10. This post from 3x3x365, in which Patti Digh describes the very best reason to marry someone.

11. Brene’ Brown interview, Vulnerability and Shame, on How She Really Does It with Koren Motekaitis.

12. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, in her book Comfortable with Uncertainty,

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion; to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance. We cultivate bravery through making aspirations. We make the wish that all beings, including ourselves and those we dislike, be free of suffering and the root of suffering.

13. Wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh, “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

14. Wisdom from Atticus Finch,

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyways and you see through it no matter what.

15. Truth from Gloria Steinem, “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

16. Wisdom from Tara Brach,

When we identify with a small self, we are perceiving ourselves as a cluster of ocean waves, not recognizing that we are made of ocean. When we realize our true self is ocean, the familiar pattern of waves—our fears and defensiveness, our wants and busyness—remains a part of us, but it does not define us.

17. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

When you’re in transition, you walk in two worlds. You walk in the world in front of you, which may seem stark or burdened. Yet you also walk in the world you carry in your heart. You know you are blossoming & the fruit trees hang heavy, the sun shines, & the clients call, & money is not an issue. The life you are feeding is the life that becomes true.

18. 10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People from Fast Company.

19. 10Q, a really fun thing that Rachel Cole shared last week,

Answer one question per day in your own secret online 10Q space. Make your answers serious. Silly. Salacious. However you like. It’s your 10Q. When you’re finished, hit the magic button and your answers get sent to the secure online 10Q vault for safekeeping. One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection.

20. The Magic of Impermanence from Lisa Congdon.

21. Stop Chasing Success. Seek Significance. from Becoming Minimalist.

22. Interview with Jen Smith of LivingLegendary.org from Lisa Bonchek Adams.

23. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, and even more wisdom from Elizabeth.

24. 10 tips for a mindful home from Karen Maezen Miller.

25. Staying Awake from Jeff Oaks.

26. I Found A Blind Baby Sparrow Below My Balcony After A Storm from Bored Panda.

27. {this moment}, a beautiful end of summer image on SouleMama.

28. 8 Good Morning Questions that Create Happiness on Marc and Angel Hack Life.

29. What this internet addict learnt from three weeks offline from Satya on Writing Our Way Home.

30. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “It takes as long as it takes.”

31. My friend Sherry sent me this last week, a poem from Hafiz,

How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all its beauty? It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise, we will remain too frightened.

32. Wisdom from Geneen Roth’s latest newsletter,

…binge eating is not defined by the amount of food you eat but by the way you eat it. Two cookies can be a binge if you eat them with urgency, desperation, and the pressing need for an altered state. Food is a drug of choice, and when you binge, you are using your preferred substance to deny, swallow, or escape your feelings.

33. Whatever Happens Next, a beautiful and heartbreaking story of saying good-bye on Huffington Post from Judy Clement Wall.

34. I want to talk about Body Positivity, OK? from Mary Lambert.

35. Here Come the Good Movies: A dozen films opening before Thanksgiving are more than worth your time and money on Purple Clover.

36. Stop beating yourself up…It’s a WASTE of time! from Kute Blackson. I already shared this yesterday, but I really want to make sure you don’t miss it.

37. The Value of Suffering, an opinion piece by Pico Iyer on The New York Times, also something I already shared, but want to make sure you see it.

38. Shared in this week’s Positively Present Picks list: Custom Pet Stamp on Ebay and Do You Suffer from the “Easy to Buy, Hard to Use” Phenomenon? on Happiness Project.

39. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: It’s OK Not To Want It All from Amy Palko, Amelia the Airstream, a Vacation Home on Wheels on Design Sponge, and A poem a day from Austin Kleon. Bonus: Susannah shared two of my links!

40. Speaking of Susannah, How I Do It: An Interview with Susannah Conway (+ a Giveaway!) on In Spaces Between.

41. Wisdom from Kute Blackson, “Every feeling is a signal, which if you pay attention to will point you in the direction of something that you actually need to deal with, a part of you that needs loving compassion or needs to be released.”

42. 55 Quick Tips to Start Your Self-Care Practice from Anne-Sophie.