Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Flowers in the bathroom. The way the light hit them one afternoon was especially nice.

2. Signs of spring. Crocuses blooming, birds singing in the morning, the dogs lounging in the backyard.

3. Morning walks. This past week, we’ve had to reroute a lot for the deer since we are out in the dark again. They can be so stubborn and unafraid, don’t want to move (or maybe they are afraid and their instinct says to freeze, stay still and hope nobody sees them), and with the dogs I can’t get too close.

4. Spring break. It was lovely being home this week, resting and hanging out. We had plans to do some fun stuff but Eric got food poisoning and has been on the couch for the past few days. It’s going to be so hard to go back to work, but only 7.5 more weeks!

5. My tiny family. That includes the ones here and the ones gone — Obi and Dexter, our shadow dogs.

Baby Sam and sweet Dexter, nine years ago

Ringo, Dexter’s echo dog

Bonus joy: Dinner and ice cream with Stacey and Heather, listening to Put Your Hands Together while lounging, reading on my Kindle at night while the boys sleep, my little rental car, meditating and writing in the morning, sleeping in, staying in my pjs all day, grilled cheese sandwiches, an amazing loaf of sourdough bread given to me by one of my yoga students, having last weekend off from yoga teacher training, dinner with Chelsey and Jon, heated car seats when it’s cold outside and you are eating ice cream, toast with butter and marionberry jam.

Something Good

1. Shrill, available streaming on Hulu. This show is SO GOOD. I loved the book it’s based on, Samantha Irby is one of the main writers for the show, and Aidy Bryant does an amazing job as the lead character. In related news, Aidy Bryant On ‘Shrill,’ ‘SNL’ Thrills, And Not Feeling Bad About Her Body, and Lindy West Talks “Shrill” On Hulu, Abortions On TV, And Fat Representation, and In ‘Shrill,’ Lindy West Made The Body Positive Show That She Never Had, and Big as Life: Hulu’s Shrill Upends Pop Culture’s Fat Narrative, and Hulu’s Shrill is a quietly tender portrayal of learning how to love yourself, and Filling A Plus-Size Fashion Void On ‘Shrill.’

2. WordSmith Deck, “WordSmith Cards were designed to put you back in control of your creativity. Now, inspiration strikes when you tell it to. Inside your deck are 100 prompts that will help you get something, anything down on that blank page. They’re also particularly useful for people who are new to journaling and want to build a habit of writing every day. Keep your WordSmith Cards on your desk or wherever you do most of your writing. When you’re stuck, draw a card, read the prompt and write the first thing that comes to your mind.”

3. Campaign Zero. “We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.”

4. Meeting the Buddha, one of my favorite poems, by Craig van Rooyen.

5. Rainbow Yoga For All Ages, a fun sequence from Yoga with Adriene.

6. Why Entrepreneurship Might Be The Best Career Path For Introverts.

7. Take Refuge in Your Body, “When the storms of life hit, your body can be a place of refuge and healing. Cyndi Lee says it starts with making friends with your body.”

8. The Man-Made, Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca. “Lake Titicaca in Peru is a lagoon made up of approximately 70 man-made islands. The central island serves as a hub, home to over 500 residents. Living afloat isn’t for everyone, but the Uros, a small South American tribe, have created and maintained this unique lifestyle for many years. The platforms are made using dried reeds and can be moved away from the mainland at any time. Home to the old and the new worlds, Lake Titicaca is a floating paradise welcoming visitors from around the globe.”

9. Napping is actually really good for your health, science finds.

10. Court ruling: Trump administration must take responsibility for all children it separated. In related news, A Honduran Father Is Reunited With His Daughter, 10 Months After Being Separated.

11. Activist EXPLODING at Sacramento City Council “after they ordered riot police to attack non violent Black Lives Matter protestors after the acquittal of the police officers who shot Stephon Clark, an unarmed Black man.” (video)

12. White Shamans & Plastic Medicine Men [1996]. (video) “This award-winning documentary deals with the popularization and commercialization of Native American spiritual traditions by Non-Indians. Important questions are asked of those seeking to commercially exploit Tribal rituals and sacred ceremonies…and those vested with safeguarding sacred ways. The film represents a wide range of voices from Native communities, and speaks to issues of cultural appropriation with humour, righteous anger, and thoughtful insight.”

13. Son Shares Photo Of His Dad, Sad That No One Is Coming To His New Donut Shop, It Goes Viral And People Flood The Shop.

14. White Supremacist Podcaster Fired From Job As EMT In Virginia.

15. Kratu running agility at the UK Kennel Club. (video) I AM Kratu.

16. These Heartwarming Illustrations Show That Dogs Make The Best Roommates. I wish this artist would make an animated film, one specifically for introverts where nobody gets lost or hurt. It’d be the best.

17. The most cost-effective way to help the homeless is to give them homes.

18. Science proved you and your dog fall in love when you look in each other’s eyes.

19. Celebrity College Bribery Ring Draws Attention To Incarceration Of Black Parents For Lesser Crimes.

20. When Civility Is Used As A Cudgel Against People Of Color.

21. Basically Good. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama on good heart, awakened mind, the causes of happiness and other basic principles of Buddhism.”

22. Micro prairies: No yard is too small to go with earth-friendly native plants.

23. 47 Things I Wish Other People Knew About Me As An INFJ.

24. This veteran lost both his legs in Iraq but found a sense of peace through teaching yoga.

25. Netflix Cancelled “One Day At a Time” Because “Not Enough People Watched.” Yeah, cause nobody wants to watch TV with good writing and acting that deals with important topics and makes you laugh…

26. New Zealand mosque attacks and the scourge of white supremacy. “Shootings at Christchurch mosques are only the latest on a long list of acts of white supremacist terrorism in the West.” In related news, On this heartbreaking day, Waleed reflects and calls for unity, (video), and Christchurch mosque shooting: The faces of the victims, and Christchurch mosque shootings: Who were the victims?.

27. Family Claims Bodycam Footage Shows Slain Rapper Was Asleep When Cops Killed Him. In related news, Florida Cop Relieved of Duty After Video Emerges of Police Violently Arresting Black Woman Who Called for Help, and ‘My Trust Is Completely Broken’: Dyma Loving, Brutally Arrested After Calling Police for Help, Speaks Out.

28. High school coaches gave cheerleaders awards for their breast and butt size at a banquet with parents. (video)

29. It’s Okay Not To Talk To Toxic Parents.

30. How I Feel As a Native Woman When Trump Idolizes Andrew Jackson. “OG History is a Teen Vogue series where we unearth history not told through a white, cisheteropatriarchal lens. In this piece, Cherokee Nation citizen, scholar, and writer Adrienne Keene talks about how history, and Donald Trump, have been too kind to Andrew Jackson.”

31. Couple brings food to stranded drivers. (video) “After they made it home from a three hour traffic jam, this couple hiked back to the freeway the next morning to bring food and water to motorists who were still stranded.”

32. These 21 Things Stress Out Highly Sensitive People The Most. Just reading this list stresses me out.

33. 7-year-old boy rescues hundreds of dogs. (video)

34. Kids singing. (video) So good.

35. A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform.

36. Dog discovers a clam. (video)

37. Dad creates interactive sheets for kids in hospitals. (video) “After visiting a friend’s child in the hospital, Kevin Gatlin was inspired to make interactive sheets to bring a little joy to sick children.”

38. My boyfriend Roman makes a smoothie. (video)

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. With Daylight Savings Time, it’s back to being dark for almost the full walk.

2. Snow day! Not sure if you heard about the “bomb cyclone” storm we had this week. There didn’t end up being more than about 4-6 inches of snow, which isn’t much for here, but the wind made for blizzard like conditions and the whole place shut down. And Spring Break is next week — which means I only have 7.5 weeks of work left at CSU!!!

3. Signs of spring. I’m not in a particular hurry for the seasons to change, but I do love the sound of bird song in the morning and can’t wait to start working in the garden.4. Me. I can’t say I necessarily like this picture of myself (other than the fun Prisma filter), and yet it so accurately reflects where I am in my life right now. I’m looking forward to coming home to myself again.

5. My tiny family. Still my favorite. I can’t wait to hang out with them a bit more next week.

Top: five years ago, Bottom: two days ago

Bonus joy: Tanka bars, hanging out with Mikalina, orange juice, naps, sleeping in, good books (I just finished The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden and am reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang), good TV (they just released Shrill and Catastrophe), good films (yesterday I watched Puzzle and Free Solo), sitting in the sauna when it’s snowing outside, aqua aerobics, Pilates, getting all the laundry done and put away on Friday, a massage, a weekend off from yoga teacher training, crossing a bunch of stuff off my to-do list, a big glass of cold clean water.


Something Good

Frozen morning river, image by Eric

1. The Super Bloom in Pictures on The New York Times.

2. Together Rising. “Together Rising transforms collective heartbreak into effective action…100% of what Together Rising receives from every personal donation goes directly to an individual, family, or cause in need – not one penny we receive from individual donation goes to administration costs, unless a donor specifically authorizes that use.” A recent project was to find 90 families who’d been separated from their children when they came to the U.S. seeking asylum and reunite them. Here’s a video of a recent reunion they were able to facilitate. In related news, After Hours at the Border, 29 Parents Separated From Their Kids and Deported Take Step Toward Asylum, and Hundreds of migrant children are taken from families despite rollback of separation policy.

3. 30 Of The Best Responses To #Trashtag Challenge. “People are challenged to take a before photo of an area that is in need of intense trash clean-up, followed by an after photo of the beautified area.”

4. Wabi-Sabi for Writers, “A Weekend Writing Workshop with Laurie Wagner and Maya Stein, May 3-5, 2019 | Nutley, New Jersey…a weekend writing workshop that will engage participants to discover and celebrate the wobbly journey of embracing the stories that want to be told, and telling them truthfully. We will write and we will read. Led by seasoned facilitators and frequent writing partners Laurie Wagner and Maya Stein, we’ll dive into the troubled waters of the writing practice, and learn how to loosen our process – rather than confine it – to take deeper risks with our voice and give our work new clarity and strength.”

5. Between Two Pines, Upaya Podcast with Natalie Goldberg.

6. Is sugar (un)healthy? It depends.

7. So you care about white supremacy? Do something. An older post, but still so relevant.

8. Mini Trucks in Japan Are Being Transformed Into Enchanting Tiny Gardens.

9. Deep down I’m enormously lazy from Austin Kleon, which links to this great excerpt from Ross Gay’s new book.

10. It’s Not All Love and Light: Why We Can’t Ignore the Dark and Just “Be Positive.”

11. Rethinking Food Addiction.

12. Our Bodies are Basically Good, “Non-diet dietician Jenna Hollenstein’s new book Eat to Love paves a Buddhist path toward transforming our often troubled relationship with food and body. Lilly Greenblatt spoke with Hollenstein about how her revolutionary approach can guide us away from chronic dieting, food anxiety, and disordered eating with mindfulness and compassion.”

13. 4 Ways To Reduce Plastics And Other Single-Use Disposables In Your Kitchen.

14. Sorry, I’m Back My Letter to the Mipham.

15. Hard Pill Talk: What White People Must Do to Fight Racism. (video)

16. Bow Down! 65 Boundary-Breaking Black Women Who Have Paved The Way.

17. 60 Stunning Photos Of Girls Going To School Around The Globe.

18. Why I Won’t be Pursuing Weight Loss as a Solution to my Chronic Pain.

19. Go Fund Me: Marcia’s fight against Cervical cancer. I was just saying to someone this morning that every middle class family in the United States is just one medical emergency event away from losing everything.

20. This woman created the Free Black Women’s Library to foster a space that celebrates the work and incredible lives of Black women. (video) Check out their Tumblr site to see how to help.

21. The Dharma of the Princess Bride, “In The Princess Bride, outcasts and loners find true friendship. Drawing on the classic film, Ethan Nichtern offers Buddhist teachings on how to make friends with yourself and others.”

22. The Drop: Amanda Palmer Tackles The Long Walk To Abortion in “A Voicemail For Jill.” I’ve never had to make this decision but I’m pretty sure no woman ever WANTS to have an abortion. And if you think things wouldn’t be different if men got pregnant, open your eyes. Open your heart.

23. Fans Rally to Save Netflix’s LGBT-Inclusive Sitcom One Day at a Time. This show covers important topics, is high quality writing and acting, and makes me laugh — what more do you want from a TV show?!

24. 2,000 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in March: Enroll Today.

25. Grief Becomes You call for submissions from Maya Stein, “I am very pleased to announce an open call for your stories and images around the subject of grief. I am asking for submissions by May 15.” I really, really want to submit something to this, but I’m afraid I’m too busy to do it.

26. This Woman Set Up A Photo Booth For Birds In Her Yard, And The Results Are Extraordinary.

27. Colorado Police Hold Black Student At Gunpoint As He Picks Up Trash On His Own Property.

28. University Dean Resigns Over Chick-fil-A Campus Ban.

29. New Hampshire Republicans Wear Pearls To Mock Moms Who Oppose Gun Violence.

30. Is this the fastest 7-year-old in the world? (video) “Meet Rudolph ‘Blaze’ Ingram — one day he hopes to smash Usain Bolt’s 100m World Record.”

31. This world-class chef won a $250,000 lottery prize — he’s using the money to hire people off the street and feed the homeless. (video)

32. How to Cope with a Toxic and Estranged Family Relationship.

33. Detroit man sues three white women who called police on him for ‘gardening while black.’

34. 5 Documentaries to Watch for Women’s History Month (or Any Month).

35. The Politics of Productivity: 7 Ways to Undo Societal Pressure to Constantly Perform.

Gratitude Friday

1. Snow. Winter waited until February this year to arrive, and the way it’s acting it might stick around through March.

2. Morning walks. I love these few weeks of winter before Daylight Savings time when we get to the river just when the sun comes up.

3. Practice. Yoga, writing, meditation. The opportunity to teach, the chance to learn, balancing effort with ease.

4. 8.5 weeks left at CSU! My three interns this semester are awesome. There are other people I’ll miss running into in the hallway or having them stop by my office for candy. There are situations and humans that are uncomfortable, difficult, and not something I’ll miss even for one second. I’m working harder than ever right now, but there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel, and I can SEE it.

5. My tiny family. Because we worked so much this week, had after hours stuff some nights, Eric and I hardly saw each other, and I have yoga teacher training all weekend. I have been working from home more often, so I at least get to see the boys. I’m looking forward to spending more quality time with all three of them.

I got up to go to the bathroom and they stole my spot.

Bonus joy: orange juice, my infrared heating pad, napping, sleeping in, teaching yoga, Pilates class, being rowdy and laughing way too much in Pilates class, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, a warm shower, clean pjs, getting the laundry done on Friday, my rental car (for a little cheap car, it has done amazingly well in the snow, or maybe after 20 years in Colorado I’m just really good at driving in it), getting nice feedback from a person I wrote an article about (“You are very good at what you do”), having friends I can talk through the big stuff with, knowing that being good at what I do doesn’t mean I have to always do everything well or that I have to keep doing it when it’s no longer fun or meaningful for me, being able to quit and still have health insurance and a roof over my head, a partner who loves me and takes care of me when I need it and makes me laugh.

Something Good

1. “Thank You,” a poem by Ross Gay.

If you find yourself half naked
and barefoot in the frosty grass, hearing,
again, the earth’s great, sonorous moan that says
you are the air of the now and gone, that says
all you love will turn to dust,
and will meet you there, do not
raise your fist. Do not raise
your small voice against it. And do not
take cover. Instead, curl your toes
into the grass, watch the cloud
ascending from your lips. Walk
through the garden’s dormant splendor.
Say only, thank you.
Thank you.

2. 12 Things to Remember When You are Feeling Overwhelmed from Be More With Less.

3. Updated: Former aides describe abuse and sexual misconduct by Shambhala leader on Lion’s Roar. The update includes links to letters from Diana J. Mukpo, Shambhala Acharyas, and the Sakyong.

4. Jaden Smith’s Foundation Teams Up With Local Church To Help Bring Clean Water To Flint.

5. Review: The Grand, Exhausting Life of Pamela Adlon’s ‘Better Things’ on The New York Times.

6. Here are 24 cognitive biases that are warping your perception of reality.

7. Inside The Rabid Fandom Community That Keeps ‘90 Day Fiancé’ On Air.

8. President Trump’s proposed border wall could cut through a butterfly sanctuary, historical sites and Carrizo/Comecrudo Indigenous territory. “Meet the people who’ve joined forces to defend these places.” (video)

9. 11-year-old girl granting wishes to nursing home residents.

10. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants the Country to Think Big. “The Democratic socialist star came to D.C. to ‘swing for the fences’ and fix America.”

11. “A year ago, I couldn’t even swim…”: Meet the 24-year-old who stunned coaches and is now training for the Olympics. (video)

12. Rampant Abuses in Immigration Detention Prove ICE Is Rotten to the Core.

13. Meet Dog Park Diane: White Woman Calls Police to Dog Park After Black Man’s Dog Humps Hers.

14. Toni Morrison: First Lady of Letters on The New York Times.

15. Ep. 14 of The Road Home Podcast: The Four Noble Truths of Love with Susan Piver.

16. Sometimes the morning OM’s are just too good. (video)

17. Cheryl’s Good Vibe Tribe is still accepting donations.

18. Emma would love a letter from your dog. “Emma Mertens, a 7-year-old girl from Hartland who was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, has requested ‘letters from dogs.'”

19. I Photographed Foxes In My Studio And Fell In Love With Their Characters.

20. Michael Cohen’s parting shot: I fear what happens if Trump loses in 2020.

21. Oprah Winfrey loses $58 million on Weight Watchers investment as stock plunges. In related news, Victoria’s Secret will close 53 stores as struggles mount.

22. The True Story Behind Legendary Jazz Pianist Don Shirley And Green Book. “Don Shirley was a piano prodigy and his passion was for classical music. But because of his race, 1950s America wanted him to stick to pop music.”

23. Illinois native is first African American woman to summit Mount Everest.

24. Meet the Baltimore Yogi Helping Black Men ‘Heal’ Through Yoga: ‘It’s Okay to Love Yourself.’

25. 30 Adorable ‘Employees Of The Week’ That This Contractor Met At The Houses He Works At.

26. This 13-year-old is the only women’s figure skater to land two triple axels in competition. (video)

27. This Super Cool Subscription Box Teaches Kids Black History All Year Round.

28. House Votes to Block Trump’s National Emergency Declaration About the Border on The New York Times.

29. Dad Mics Up His 4-Year-Old At Hockey Practice To “Finally Understand What The Heck He Was Doing Out There.”

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Right now is my favorite time of year to walk. We get to the river just as the sun starts to rise and the sky lights up, so I get to take lots of good pictures.

2. 9.5 weeks of work left at CSU!!! It is going by so fast now! And I have so much work to do, I’m going to be busy right up until the final day. My hope was to save at least two weeks to clear off my computer, tie up loose ends, and clear out my office at a reasonable pace, but I’m not sure if that’s going to work out. I might have to go full speed right up until the end.

3. Practice. Meditation, writing, and yoga. The three together keep me sane.

4. My tiny family. Eric, Sam, and Ringo. The three together keep me sane.

5. My new to me car that’s not new or mine. I know I already mentioned it last week, but I’m still enjoying the freedom of having my own car, even though it’s not really mine.

Bonus joy: writing with Mikalina and Chloe’, making and eating good food, pay day, Pilates, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, sunshine, things starting to bloom, snow, good books, good TV, good music, the technology I need to do the things I want, my three interns, slowly and surely letting go, sleeping in, napping, reading when I get in bed at night while my three boys sleep, talking to my mom, texting my brother.