Something Good

May all beings be safe
May all beings be happy
May all beings be healthy
May all beings be content
May all beings love themselves completely
And with great kindness
Just as they are now
No matter what happens

1. I Dream of Pie from my beloved friend and teacher Laurie Wagner. “It’s been a year like that; the life before, the life now – how what seemed like a dream, an impossible way to live, has become so real. The masks, how we line up to enter a store, sometimes getting our temperature checked at the door, the way we reach out toward our screens to touch the people we love.” Check out her Wild Writing Family offering. The practice with her as a guide is magic, medicine.

2. Beautiful Writers Podcast. “Listen in as author Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) brings together the world’s most beloved authors for monthly chats on writing, publishing, deal-making, spirituality, activism, and the art of romancing creativity.”

3. Writer Resolution 2021: How We Heal, How We Grow on Terrible Minds by Chuck Wendig. “So, the resolution for me, and maybe for you, is this year looking toward healing and growing — a rise and return. Not some PHOENIX burn where we go from PILE OF ASH to ANGRY FIRE EAGLE, but something slower, more measured, more deliberate.”

4. is it a resolution or is it capitalism by Anne Helen Petersen. “Americans love New Year’s resolutions because we are perpetual strivers obsessed with self-improvement.” I love Anne’s weekly newsletter and her list of links. From this one, I really liked Hard Lessons on Compassion and When Will We Be Able to Take the Indoors for Granted Again? She also shared a much longer list of her favs from 2020, “A totally unorganized, uncategorized list of writing for a year that felt the same.”

5. 7 Things You Definitely Won’t Need This Year (or ever again) from Be More With Less.

6. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: A Happy New Year’s message from our backyard and 100 things that made my year (2020).

7. Good stuff on Lion’s Roar: A New Year’s Blessing (“Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller offers some words to help us all start the year off right”), and How to Establish a Daily Practice of Almost Anything, in Six Steps (an older piece I’ve shared before, but it seems like the right time to share it again), and Another New Year (“On the last night of the year, meditating with others is exactly what Natalie Goldberg finds she needs”).

8. Reading lists: The Ultimate Best Books of 2020 List and The Award-Winning Novels of 2020.

9. The 10 best films of 2020.

10. A Gentle Reminder That 2021 Isn’t Going To Be A Magical Cure For 2020.

11. Heart Wisdom with Jack Kornfield – Ep. 121 – Reflect on Gratitude. “Gratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small. Gratitude is the confidence in life itself. In it, we feel how the same force that pushes grass through cracks in the sidewalk can invigorate our own life. This episode of the Heart Wisdom podcast is a reflection on gratitude.”

12. We Tried Oprah’s Favorite Emergency Kit, And We Love It.

13. Vibrant Botanic Embroideries Embellish the Dried Leaf Sculptures of Hillary Waters Fayle.

14. Robert Jones Jr. Is Son of Baldwin, and More on The New York Times. “The writer’s debut novel, ‘The Prophets,’ is the Black queer love story he longed to read.”

15. Atlanta Homeless Man Saves 16 Animals From Burning Building.

16. Colorado woman hikes 485 miles to challenge assumptions about race and the outdoors.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. To be honest, I didn’t go on any this week. We got snow and it was cold and Eric is on a break from work, so he and Ringo went running every morning. However, this morning when I was coming back from picking up groceries, the sunrise over the river was so pretty that I turned around and parked by the trail to get some pictures. Just as I was walking back to my car, Eric and Ringo came running towards me on the trail, so I got to say “hi” and walk with them a little bit.

2. A whole new year. I really really want it to be better than this one, but I also accept that even this could have been worse and there was so much to be grateful for, still.

3. Practice. I was thinking the other day how all my practices — writing, meditation, yoga, and even dog — all intended for me to meet myself where I’m at, to be with what is arising in this very moment, and that by being gentle and open, I am my truest and strongest self. May it be of benefit.

4. People doing their jobs, keeping it all going. Last night around 6 pm, a water main broke on our block. The utilities company had people there right away, and they stayed ALL NIGHT working to fix the problem, in the cold and wet and dirt, and they had it all done and cleaned up and working again by 7 am. What a miracle that we have access to clean water, that there are those who understand how to make that system work, and when something breaks down, they are right there working on it until it’s fixed — in this case while we did nothing but watch and sleep. People every day making sure we have access to food and vaccines and electricity, keeping the rest of us safe and cared for and comfortable. We are so lucky.

6. My tiny family, our little house. This week was sweet and quiet and wonderful.

Bonus joy: books, music, TV, movies, podcasts, clementines, getting in the pool, sitting in the sauna with Eric, our Christmas tree lights, naps, hanging out and writing with Mikalina, tea with Chloe’, texting good wishes to people I love, Christmas cards, pay day, having all the laundry done and put away, snow, tiny birds at my feeders (I have two now), down blankets and pillows, texting with my mom and brother and nieces, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.