Tag Archives: Education

Something Good

1. This quote from Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, “The purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.”

2. Street Compliments from Soul Pancake.

3. This quote from the Dalai Lama, “These days, in our materialistic culture, many people are led to believe that money is the ultimate source of happiness. Consequently, when they don’t have enough of it they feel let down. Therefore, it is important to let people know that they have the source of contentment and happiness within themselves, and that it is related to nurturing our natural inner values.”

4. Harlem Shake Karme Choling edition. I only learned this week what the Harlem Shake is, and thought this was an especially funny version.

5. Please Mind the Gap on Scoutie Girl, which says “How is it that we suddenly don’t know how to just do nothing? All those empty spaces seem like such an inconvenience. A total waste of time when I could be being productive.” Exactly. And this, “But the spaces in between can provide some of life’s most meaningful moments,” and “We need space to breathe, to ponder, to take in the world around us, to rest, to be inspired.”

6. I am in love with Kid President, and Soul Pancake. Here, Kid President Interviews Rainn Wilson.

7. Illustrator Emily McDowell.

8. Tara Brach shared this poem on Facebook, and I just love it.

Spacious

Dear you,
you who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still

I know you’re tired
I also know it’s not your fault
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes
You’ve forgotten something again
You need to prepare for that or else
You should have done that differently

What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled
~Kaveri Patel

9. This quote from Chögyam Trungpa, “Before we produce anything at all, we have to have a sense of free and open space.”

10. The 20 best interiors blogs. Eye candy.

11. A few more posts on The Radiate Sessions, one from Kelly Rae Roberts and one from Andrea Scher.

12. Melt Your Emotional Blocks: Emotional Freedom Technique on Kris Carr’s blog. As with all good things, this might be crazy, might be magic. I tried it a few times this past week when I was feeling overwhelmed, and it really helped calm me down.

13. Perfectly Imperfect Self-Care from Rachel Cole.

14. When People Want You To Stay in The Shadows from Katherine Stone.

15. Writing advice from Cheryl Strayed, shared in her website’s F.A.Q.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?
1. Write a lot.
2. Don’t be in a hurry to publish.
3. Find the work that moves you the most deeply and read it over and over again. I’ve had many great teachers, but the most valuable lessons I learned were from writers on the page.
4. Be brave. Write what’s true for you. Write what you think. Write about what confuses you and compels you. Write about the crazy, hard, and beautiful. Write what scares you. Write what makes you laugh and write what makes you weep. Writing is risk and revelation. There’s no need to show up at the party if you’re only going to stand around with your hands in your pockets and stare at the drapes.

Amen.

16. Recipes shared by Soule Mama that I want to try: Smoky Corn Chowder and Oatcakes.

17. Belief Without Compassion, a post from Jonathan Fields.

18. The Power of the Numberfrom Back to Her Roots.

19. Trust: My Sober Familya post about staying sober long term on Guinevere Gets Sober.

20. Brilliance from Susan Piver,

I’d like to take a moment to remind you of the pointlessness of guilt and shame, especially in regard to your spiritual practice. We are all going to miss days, weeks, or years. We are all going to become confused at various points along the path. None of this means that you are bad or stupid. It’s so strange to have to say that, but believe me, I have to say it to myself about 1 zillion times per day. For some reason, we are prone to think the worst of ourselves. But neither guilt nor shame have ever led to breakthroughs in wisdom or compassion, at least not for me.

21. Paris and proposals. Spoiler: I said “no.” from Make Me Joyful.

22. We Found Our Son in the Subway, a wonderful adoption story, and a story about how a family was made, by Peter Mercurio.

23. MOYO Magazine Issue 3.

24. You already have permission, a brief yet brilliant post by Seth Godin.

25. I just love the #StuffMyGirlSays – the interview with my 5 year old on Bliss Habits. I think every parent should do this–no I demand that you do! (and email it to me)

26. The One and Only IvanI am reading this book by Katherine Applegate right now (yes, it’s for kids) and am so in love.

27. Stardust: A Mesmerizing Short Film About the Voyager 1 and the Wonder of the Universe and Words To Live By: 5 Timeless Commencement Addresses on Brain Pickings.

28. Geneen Roth: Compulsion vs. Awareness, a one minute sound clip.

29. Shared by SF Girl by the Bay, Craftsman and Wolves.

30. Creative BadAssery with Justine Musk, in which Jennifer Louden interviews Justine Musk.

31. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list:  Relax! You’ll Be More Productive, which says,

Working in 90-minute intervals turns out to be a prescription for maximizing productivity. Professor K. Anders Ericsson and his colleagues at Florida State University have studied elite performers, including musicians, athletes, actors and chess players. In each of these fields, Dr. Ericsson found that the best performers typically practice in uninterrupted sessions that last no more than 90 minutes. They begin in the morning, take a break between sessions, and rarely work for more than four and a half hours in any given day.” And, “Our basic idea is that the energy employees bring to their jobs is far more important in terms of the value of their work than is the number of hours they work. By managing energy more skillfully, it’s possible to get more done, in less time, more sustainably.

Also from Susannah’s list, The Empathic Civilisation.

32. From Positively Present Picks, this quote:

Dogs don’t know about beginnings, and they don’t speculate on matters that occurred before their time. Dogs also don’t know — or at least don’t accept — the concept of death. With no concept of beginnings or endings dogs probably don’t know that for people having a dog as a life companion provides a streak of light between two eternities of darkness. ~Stanley Coren

And these links, Meet the Rules of the Internet and 4 Ways To Deal With Negativity in the World, on Pick the Brain blog.

33. This quote from Ram Dass,

You spent the first half of your life becoming somebody. Now you can work on becoming nobody, which is really somebody. For when you become nobody there is no tension, no pretense, no one trying to be anyone or anything. The natural state of mind shines through unobstructed-and the natural state of mind is pure love.

34. 30+ mantras for people who over-work, over-commit, and are generally terrified of “missing out.” from Alexandra Franzen.

35. Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDxUniversityofNevada. One thing referenced in the talk, Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes comes from a study with some very interesting results.

36. 4 Ways to Stay Positive in a Negative World post on Belief Net by Marianne Elliott, in which she says,

An open heart can leave us feeling unstable. We balance this by cultivating a steady mind. Meditation trains our mind to hold steady under the onslaught of disturbing images, thoughts and feelings, helping us maintain a sense of center when the world spins out of control.

Word.

What I Learned from My Mom

No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you – life. ~Anonymous

In many ways, I am my father’s daughter. Stubborn, strong, creative, sensitive, intelligent, introverted, pensive, easily irritated and hurt, critical, and funny, (what some might call a “smart ass”). I offer you these two pictures as some measure of proof.

Both of us are lucky enough to have my mom, to love us, to take care of us, and to forgive us when we need it.

I have been thinking about those without a mother, whether their mother has died or is simply absent or ineffective, and about what a sad thing that is, to have to become your own mother. For my entire life, I’ve had a mother who loves me, who wanted me, who took care of me and still does, when I let her. She has been and is a constant, loving presence in my life. I am so lucky.

What I’ve learned from my mom:

  1. Kindness. This is my mom’s most fundamental quality. She is kind to everyone she meets, even the ones that don’t necessarily deserve it. I learned from her that you lose nothing by being kind, gentle, friendly, nice, and more importantly, that by doing so you might ease someone else’s suffering.
  2. Generosity. My mom is giving and compassionate, to every one, especially those who need it most or have the least. She taught me the importance of service, charity, helping, pitching in, sharing the load, and that “many hands make light work.”
  3. Love of books, music, and film. My mom read to me, encouraged me to read, showed me the wonder of stories and books, gifted me that constant and abiding joy, so central to my life. There was always music in our house, and singing, another pleasure that infuses my life, so much so it feels as essential as eating or breathing or sleep. Some of my favorite memories are of snuggling up on the couch and watching movies like “Funny Girl” together. Even now, one of our favorite things to do together is to rent three or four movies and spend the whole day watching.
  4. How to make a home. She taught me to sew, to mend, to garden, to cook, to bake, to clean, to do laundry, to make a bed, to mow a lawn, to throw a party. She showed me the value of hard work and handmade, the ways to make peace. She taught me to take care of myself, to be independent, but also to nurture others, to create a home filled with love and comfort.

    Mom with my cousin Brian, who was asking her “these weeds?”

  5. Joy and Gratitude. These are so closely linked, I don’t know how to write about them separately. For my mom, the moment there is joy, the gratitude for whatever conditions enabled that joy will immediately follow. “I’m so happy” and “I’m so thankful” are almost the same thought. My mom shares her joy, is funny, and not in the mean, snide way I can sometimes be funny, but in the sweetest, silliest way. She makes me laugh, but also reminds me to notice how beautiful the world around us is, how lucky we are. She’ll say, “oh look!” and point out something I would have walked right past. In the worst of moments, she puts her heart and effort into cheering up, raising spirits, hoping for and looking towards that better day she is certain will come.
  6. Humility. My mom has a modest view of her own importance, her own worth. She won’t take full credit for the work she does, the impact she makes, but would rather share the wealth. She doesn’t do to be known or praised, but rather because the doing needs done, and she has love to give.
  7. Hard work. My mom is not a big woman, but I have seen her do backbreaking, hard labor. She grew up on a farm, the second oldest of 12 children, and she knows how to work, and never shies away from it. She rolls up her sleeves and gets to it. I dare you to invite her to dinner and try to keep her from helping to clean up, from doing the dishes–better men than you have tried and failed.
  8. Patience. She’s not going to let you get to her. She has the capacity to accept, to tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset, to remain cool, calm, steady–she’ll simply try another approach, another way, even if that means ignoring or denying the trouble altogether. She hardly ever gets irritated, (it happens, but it’s rare), flustered maybe, but she’s almost never angry.

    my brother Chris, me, and Mom at Disneyland

  9. Faith. We no longer share the exact same faith or set of practices, but my mom taught me the value of trusting, believing in something sacred. She taught me that there is love, that we are loved, and that we can be love, that love is worth practicing, devoutly. Also, that it doesn’t matter who or what we pray to, there is power in prayer.
  10. Not to worry.This is the only thing on this list where she taught me something by doing it in a way I don’t want to model, by being a bad example. She worries too much, can’t seem to help herself, especially when it comes to her family. If something hurts us, is hard for us, it hurts her too, and when she can’t directly fix it or make it better, she worries. It makes me sad to see it, how sad and upset she makes herself, and helps remind me that worrying doesn’t help.

    Mom with her first granddaughter, baby Jessamy

  11. Family and friends. This is what is most important to my mom, always has been. If she is your friend, you are so lucky. If she’s your mom, well…even better.
  12. Love + forgiveness + hard work = marriage.My parents have been married for 45+ years. What they’ve taught me is that sometimes it’s hard, you fight, drive each other crazy, but sometimes it’s really good, you laugh until your face and stomach hurt, you help each other make it through the tough stuff, and through all of it you love each other, are a family, and all the other stuff, you find a way to forgive. It’s no mystery why I got out of a bad first marriage and have such a successful second one–I know what I want and how to make it work (so far, knock on wood, fingers crossed).

    my 8th grade graduation

  13. Education. My mom valued our education, and did what she could to help us with it. She went on almost every field trip, volunteered in our classrooms and at school events, and was even the chairman of our school board for awhile. When I was 13, she started a career as an office manager at a middle school. All the kids and staff and parents loved her. Even after she retired, she volunteered at my old grade school for a few years, helping kids with their reading. She taught me that the path to everything I wanted, to success and being able to take care of myself, was through my education. She believed in school as a safe place for all kids but especially the ones who didn’t have that at home, a way kids could gain confidence and power. She knew an education would enable them to help themselves and to then maybe, hopefully go on to help others, and she did what she could to assist them.
  14. The joy of walking, of talking. I have a lot of pictures of my mom on the phone, partly because she’d never let my dad take her picture otherwise, but also because she actually spent time talking to people, (she still writes letters too). And she loves a good walk, first thing in the morning, or before or after dinner. I have walked many miles next to her, talking about nothing and everything, and hope to walk many more.
  15. How to be a good mom. More than likely, at this point I won’t literally be anyone’s mom, other than my dogs, but if I were to be, I know I’d be awesome at it, because I had such a good role model.

Oddly enough, this post has been kind of hard to write. You’d think that it would make me happy, that I’d feel nothing but good doing it. But to think in depth about all the things I love so much about my mom makes me profoundly sad. We live 1200 miles away from each other, and only get to spend physical time together once a year, and I miss her.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love and miss you, and I’ll see you soon!