Tag Archives: Anne Frank

Something Good

1. the pursuit of happiness: how part-time dream-chasing works from Liv Lane. This makes so much sense to me, seems to be how things are working in my case.

2. From a poem shared by the lovely Jessica Patterson,

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
~Judy Brown

3. A quote shared by Christa on Carry It Forward,

The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it. It’s not possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering the unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift – your true self – is the most you can do to love and serve the world…and it is all the world needs. ~Bill Plotkin

4. After School Snack: Almond-Oat Bites. This recipe looks so yummy. I wonder what it would taste like with avocado? 🙂

5. Pets Add Life Outtakes. If this doesn’t make you giggle, we probably wouldn’t get along.

6. This quote from Lin Yutang, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

7. This quote from Pema Chödrön,

Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.

Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.

8. This quote from Ram Daas,

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.

9. [How I Relax] An interview with Marianne Elliott on The Freedom Experiment.

10. Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree: Self-Compassion and Resilience from Lea Seigen Shinraku.

11. International Artist Mary Anne Radmacher Talks Living Boldly on 365 Bold.

12. “A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to.” ~Tom Bissell

13. 9 Steps to Creating a Successful e-Course from Pro Blogger.

14. I Never Thought A 1-Minute Video Could Punch Me In The Heart. Yet Here We Are. Seeing Anne Frank with gray hair made me cry.

15. Washed Away, a New York Times book review of ‘Wave’ by Sonali Deraniyagala, by Cheryl Strayed. After reading this, I immediately ordered the book, knowing it’s going to break my heart.

16. Creating Your Zen Den on Positively Positive.

17. Wisdom from Osho,

When you have dropped all the tension about the future – that I should become this and I should become that – the ego evaporates. The ego lives on a base of the past and the future. Understand this a little. The claims of the ego are of the past, “I did this, I did that” – it is all in the past. And the ego says, “I will definitely accomplish this, I will definitely show you that I can accomplish that.” That is all in the future. The ego simply does not exist in the present. If you come to the present, then the ego disappears. That is death to the ego. Coming to the present is the death of the ego.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön: Comfortable with Transition, a Good Minute Weekly Wisdom offering from Sounds True.

19. Generosity for Georgia, a really great fundraising effort for a single mom fighting cancer. If I had my way, no kid ever again would lose their mom to cancer. For now, the only thing I can do about that is to give some money and love to people like Georgia, and share the link with you so you can too.

20. Wisdom from Patti Digh,

A thought: If we can walk to our edges without judgment–edges are those “hot spots” of discomfort and disequilibrium where real learning can occur–we can learn something valuable about ourselves. But we have to choose between judging and learning, because if we go into judgment (of ourselves or others), we can’t learn. Carry on.

21. A great story from Jen Lee on The Moth.

22. Trading in Consumption on Be More With Less. Courtney Carver continues to be such an inspiration to me.

23. This quote from Tony Schwartz,

Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

24. Five Ways To Nourish Yourself from Nourishing the Soul.

25. Objects of Desire from Lisa Field-Elliot on Doorways Traveler. I love, love, love her writing, her view, her heart. Every post she says something so true, something that startles and stops me, makes me cry. This time it was this, “it is not about accumulating, it is about recognizing and eliminating what does not speak the truth.”

26. i could live here: a converted waffle factory in lille. from SF Girl by Bay. Everything about this place is yummy, gorgeous and good, and I can’t help but wonder, how different would your life be if you lived in a space like that? I mean, it’s a converted waffle factory in France that is decorated and furnished beautifully– everything about that is good. In my dream of it, it still smells like waffles, warm maple and vanilla.

27. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

If we unbalance nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy as, if not healthier than, we found it. This is not quite such a difficult proposition as it might sound. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a universal response might achieve. It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that may be. Just because switching off the light on leaving the room seems inconsequential, it does not mean we shouldn’t do it.

28. From Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Speaking Up About Grief and Why We Rescue Interview, (this project only has one entry so far, but it’s such a good idea, and a really good first interview–I’m a sucker for a good rescue story).

29. This quote from Geneen Roth, “Compulsive eating is only the symptom; believing that you are not worth your own love is the problem. Go for the love. You will never be sorry.”

30. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list, Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing.

31. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Facebook for Buddhists? Five Rules for Maintaining a Mindful “Buddha Status,” and This is Why I Practice, which says,

I don’t practice because I am righteous or virtuous. I certainly don’t practice because I am perfect or peaceful. Nor do I practice to impress you or to prove some inane point about my wonderful brilliant sparkly shininess.

I practice because without practice I am a mess.

Amen.

32. Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You from Space2Live.

33. Pack Animals, from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

We need each other. The trick for me is to accept that need, to allow myself to satisfy it, and even to enjoy it, without allowing it to overtake the rest of my life and make me sacrifice myself.

34. Kid President Laugh Party! I adore Kid President.

35. Do not do shit just to please your parents. In fact, do not pursue anything in order to please someone else. Ever. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte.

36. The Real Journey of a Writer, wisdom from Justine Musk.

Something Good

It’s a shorter list this week, and clearly I had a limited number of things on my mind: the High Park Fire, the World Domination Summit, taking pictures, making choices about what stuff to buy or keep or take with us on our upcoming trip, and writing.

take me for a walk…

1. Instagram. I have been dreaming about, coveting, longing for this app for a really long time, but I’m not an iPerson and I like my phones dumb, (at least dumber than me). I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and bought an iTouch so I can play too. For now, since we only have a few days before we leave for Oregon, my strategy is to “keep calm and carry on,” because if I don’t watch it, I will burn up these few remaining days wandering around taking pictures–which most of the time would be okay, but I need to clean and pack and organize and all the other stuff you must do before a long trip. So far, I’ve only taken pictures of the dogs and one self-portrait, (in which my forehead and front teeth seem abnormally large).

2. I’m Fine, Thanks, a documentary. There are still four days left to pledge their Kickstarter campaign, even though they reached their goal sometime in the last few days. I get to see it when I’m at the World Domination Summit in a few weeks, and it looks to me like a story that needs to be told.

3. My 100 Things Challenge on Be More With Less. This is one of those things I want to do, at the same time it scares me silly. Courtney Carver is a badass.

4. An Evening with Ray Bradbury, 2001, “Telling the Truth,” the keynote address of The Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. I don’t agree with everything Mr. Bradbury has to say here (like “only the classics are any good, everything new is crap”), but there were lots of things I wrote down, stopped and thought about, and he’s so endearing and inspiring. Most of all, he reminds me that the childhood dream of being a writer wasn’t, isn’t crazy or impossible, and that we should all follow what brings us joy.

“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”

5. Terrible Minds. I love Chuck Wendig, am inspired by him time and time again. Lately, it was 25 Reasons This Is The Best Time To Be A Storyteller, 25 Realizations Writers Need To Have, and The Secret to Writing, which is essentially this:


6. This quote from Anne Frank, which I share in honor of the fire fighters and other good people working kindly and so diligently during this High Park Fire:

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too. I can feel the suffering of millions – and yet, if I look to the heavens, I think it will come out all right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.

7. Happiness Is Simple: Why Too Many Choices Make Us Miserable & 5 Ways To Improve Your Life! by Gala Darling.

8. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do from McSweeney’s. This is good.

9. Necessary advice from the trustworthy, brilliant Jamie Ridler, and a whole host of other luminaries. How to Get the Most Out of a Conference When You’re an Introvert or HSP (highly sensitive person) Part I and Part II. I will be taking a close look at this over the next few weeks.

10. Summer Reading List from Brain Pickings. In the introduction for the first book on the list, Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation, Tom Bissell says “To create anything — whether a short story or a magazine profile or a film or a sitcom — is to believe, if only momentarily, you are capable of magic.”

11. And finally, this quote, with a picture offered as proof: If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change, (Buddha).

Gratitude Friday


This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. Our visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens. A break from the smoke, the worry about the fire, a gorgeous location and lovely long walk, and the fact that I am lucky enough to not only have a husband who will consent to going, but who had the idea in the first place and enjoyed it every bit as much as I did.

2. Being able to open the window over my desk this morning and listen to the birds as I wrote. The fire is no where near gone (in fact, they’ve said that while they will be able to eventually contain it, it most likely won’t stop burning altogether until the first snow), but the wind had shifted and the air cleared enough that me and the birds of dawn could hang out together this morning. I had missed them.

3. Walking the dogs with Eric. Because it’s summer, vacation time, we can do this more often, and I really enjoy it.

4. Danielle Ate the Sandwich CD Release Party. As always, she was adorable and funny, not to mention incredibly talented, and put on a great show. I finally worked up the courage to talk to her, and even though I had a whole story prepared to explain, remind her who I was, to help her remember, I only had to say “Hi, Danielle. I swore this time I would talk to you” and she said “Are you Jill?” and hugged me. There was a caricature artist working there that night, so I had him draw my picture. If you ever wondered what I’d look like as a cartoon, here it is. He totally got the hair right.

5. My meditation practice, and the Open Heart Project (Practitioner Level). I needed extra support this week, it was more important than usual to have a method for manifesting sanity when my experience feels less than sane, and these two things gave me just that. I am so profoundly grateful, for the practice, the guidance, and the community.

6. How good people can be to each other in hard times. When I was at the park yesterday afternoon walking the dogs there were two girls selling paintings and taking donations to help with the High Park Fire, I heard multiple stories of fire fighters and community members (many of them women) saving homes (one woman’s home was saved three different times), the Fort Collins Shambhala Center sangha stepped in to feed and house staff evacuated from the Shambhala Mountain Center, and community members are dropping baked goods off at CSU for the firefighters to grab on their way through. It made me think of this, one of my favorite quotes from Anne Frank:

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too. I can feel the suffering of millions – and yet, if I look to the heavens, I think it will come out all right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.

Bonus Joy: In one week, we are leaving to drive to Oregon and settle in to our little house on the beach in Waldport, “where the forest meets the sea.” Just thinking about it makes me happy, and I’m ready to go. I love Colorado, the sun and the land and our little house and my life here, it really is where I should live…but the truth is that half of my heart, no matter where else the rest might be, stays on this long stretch of beach, looking at the water and listening to the lullaby of the waves.

H is for Holocaust

I had no idea this was going to be my word for the letter “h.” In fact, when I brainstormed a list of words the other day, my “h” word was “happy.” Such a bright, sunny, hopeful, feel good word. So what happened?

Last night, I watched the movie “Sarah’s Key,” (Netflix added it their streaming options, so you can watch it on demand). It made a better movie than it did a book, most likely because the amazing Kristin Scott Thomas played the lead. She has the ability to play a character haunted by longing in a way no one else can match.

Then I woke up to a gray, rainy day, still thinking about it, about them, all those people lost, all that suffering and brutality. You might not know this about me, but I am a bit obsessed with the Holocaust, and have been ever since I first read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

When she made her first entry in her diary, Anne was four years older than when I first read it, but there was something about Anne’s voice that seemed to come from inside my own head. She was so much like me. She loved books and movies; had one older sibling; wanted to grow up and marry and have children and to be an actress or a writer; she was independent and stubborn, but also sensitive; she felt like no one who knew her really knew her, that no one saw her true self. She wrote in her diary because “I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.”

I identified with Anne’s isolation and her hope for the future. I fell in love with her, mourned her death as if I’d lost a real friend. I felt the sad recognition that for every person like Anne, full of hope and possibility, there was another full of pain and anger, someone who had the potential to get in the way, to wreck and ruin that possibility.

I’ve read this book many times over the years. Every time, I brace myself for the disappointment that I am sure will come, because I can’t believe the actual book could possibly match my memory of it. I expect that it won’t be nearly as moving or meaningful—but it is, every time. And every time, my heart breaks again—that we as humans can be both so wonderful and so horrible.