Tag Archives: Flora Bowley

Something Good

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. December Reflections with Susannah Conway. “This project has no real rules – the idea is to simply take a photograph every day(ish) for the whole of December. That’s it. Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Reflect on how the year’s gone down. Enjoy a bit of mindful creativity in the run up to the new year.” 31 photo prompts, three ways to share your pictures. I’m in!

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2. An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

3. 29 Playlists To Listen To When Everything Sucks. I haven’t listened to any of these yet because I can’t stop listening to Adele’s new album, but when I do, I will.

4. F*ck That: A Guided Meditation. This has been floating around for a bit, and I finally listened to it. *gigglesnort*

5. How Lowering Your Standards Leads to Greatness from Jen Louden. I’m always open to lowering the bar. In this post, Jen gives us permission.

6. You are Allowed, from Mara Glatzel’s latest newsletter. This is the kind of thing you should print out and hang on the fridge. Click the link she includes to hear her read the list to you, close your eyes and listen to all the things you are allowed. And when you are done, go sign up for her newsletter for more of this sort of goodness.

7. A Little Guide for More Comfort and Joy from Be More With Less. Courtney consistently writes things I have to share. I feel like she’s a version of me, wiser and more compassionate with a simpler more fulfilling life, some years down the road sending me messages from my possible future, reminding me to not give up, to keep trying.

8. Body Gratitude Print Out for the Holidays from Curvy Yoga. What a great practice.

9. How to be generous from Danielle LaPorte. It’s funny to me how the antidote to poverty mentality, a feeling of scarcity, is to give more away, to let things go, to have less, to be more generous.

10. Breathe, an offering from the wonderful Julia Fehrenbaucher, “an eleven week, (self-directed), deep breathing, creative recovery retreat for your spirit.”

11. The Biggest Legal Mistake Freelancers Make from Paul Jarvis.

12. How To Read A Book. I developed a bad habit of reading multiple books at a time while I was in graduate school, but according to this list, that means I’m doing it right.

13. Two Dog Pals Separated At The Shelter End Up In The Same Loving Home. This makes me so happy. And, I have a serious crush on Mr. Riley!

14. I Quit My Boring Office Job To Start Making Mini Paintings On Recycled Wood. I’m glad. She makes some beautiful things.

15. I Doodle Introvert Comics To Express How I Feel. Love these! Her website is great too.

16. Scientists now think that being overweight can protect your health. Oh, snap!

17. #whatayogilookslike: Spotlight on Laura Sharkey.

18. Why this woman’s “badass undie” selfie is starting a viral movement.

19. Adam Kurtz, a great artist interview on Lisa Congdon’s blog.

20. ‘You Can’t Prepare Yourself’: A Conversation With Adele. Because, I’m obsessed.

21. Jimmy Fallon, Adele & The Roots Sing “Hello” (w/Classroom Instruments). Seriously: my brain = all Adele, all the time. Her voice here gives me goosebumps.

22. Sensitive-The Untold Story, a documentary.

23. Move Over Turducken, PIECAKEN Is The Dish To Beat This Thanksgiving. I don’t know how to feel about this…

24. 75 inspiring gratitude prompts from Positively Present. These would be great journal prompts or conversation starters.

25. December Encouragement Notes from Esmé Weijun Wang. This is a free offering. “I’m making this because I think we all need a little extra push and a little extra comfort in December, and because I’m grateful to all of you who make this online space something to be excited about.”

26. What is Literature for?

27. The World Will Be Saved By Waffles, a beautiful post by Erica Staab, which she ends with, “When we can offer a soft place to land for those we love, when we can share with one another our little acts of love, we light up the world. And we could all use a little more light in the world.”

28. Chronic Dieting: The Socially Acceptable Eating Disorder. I lived this, could have written this post, but since I didn’t, I’m so glad Caroline Dooner did.

29. The Real Difference Between Artists and Everyone Else. Spoiler alert: “Making things makes you an artist.”

30. My sister is a heroin addict. This isn’t my exact story, but I’m living a version of this and it sucks.

31. Pet Every Single Dog. This event on Facebook is so perfect. I’m in!

32. Flora Bowley’s Bloom True ecourse. “Enjoy 25% off my five-week, deep dish, transformational, painting course now through December 1st, and savor the freshly designed course at your own pace for one full year. You can also give this as the most rocking gift ever! Use coupon code: btgratitude to receive your discount.”

33. 24 Tweets That Will Make Every Nurse Laugh Out Loud.

34. World’s Largest Spice Company to Go Organic and Non-GMO by 2016. Cool.

35. Wisdom from Jeff Foster, “Heaven is this moment. Hell is the burning desire for this moment to be different. It’s that simple.” It’s also that complicated.

36. The Power in Writing About Yourself.

37. Love List Selfie, a little project and short interview I did with my dear friend Sherry Richert Belul.

38. Dharma of Writing Group a great offering from Susan Piver and Kate Lila Wheeler.

The Dharma of Writing is an ongoing two-hour online monthly gathering designed to help you enter your own writing with the support and companionship of other writers…At each session, we will practice meditation together and then actually write. Each person will work on his or her own project with the quiet, supportive companionship of writers all over the world. We will convene using the video conference platform, Zoom. Sessions will be recorded and links sent to all, so if you can’t join live you can still participate.

39. Wisdom from poet Andrea Gibson, (thanks to Jessica for the original share),

Just to be clear
I don’t want to get out
without a broken heart.
I intend to leave this life
so shattered
there better be a thousand separate heavens
for all of my separate parts.

40. This Man’s Wife Cries About Absolutely Anything So He Started Writing The Reasons Down.

40. Neil Gaiman and Georgina Chapman – Donate to UNHCR – UN Refugee Agency. “Together with UNHCR, international best-selling author, Neil Gaiman, and co-founder and designer of Marchesa, Georgina Chapman, are developing a storytelling project highlighting the Syrian refugee crisis.”

41. Couple Lets Their Dog Film Their Wedding And The Result Is Better Than Most Wedding Videos.

42. How to get out of a rut. Good advice.

Something Good

fallcolorSo great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Kindness Project 51-51-51 on Simply Celebrate. My dear friend Sherry is doing another kindness project, “I will send 51 notes to 51 strangers in 51 days. Do you know someone who is lonely, grieving, disappointed, or blue? Someone who needs a boost? If so, please email me and tell me a tiny bit about their story, why you love this person, and their snail mail address. Also, let me know if you want their letter to be anonymous from the universe or from me on your behalf.” Sherry’s got big love to give. All you need to do is let her know where to send it.

2. Dear Retailers: Screw You, a letter from a woman who’s been both “normal” and “plus” sized.

3. 5 Things to Remember When Someone You Love is Depressed from Marc and Angel Hack Life. So important.

4. Homeless Find New Life Working at 22-Acre Organic Farm and Restaurant. What a great project.

5. The Devil’s Food Cake Recipe That Everyone Should Have. I’m certainly willing to test this out.

6. 5 Things I Know About The Path from Momastery.

7. Memories Of A Maybe Angel In ‘Don’t Suck, Don’t Die.’ This sounds like something I’d want to read.

8. One of America’s most beloved authors reveals her ‘number one life hack’ for lasting relationships. Really good relationship advice from Brene’ Brown.

9. The Elephants Always Line Up To Hug This Old Lady.

10. 16 Poses to Ease Back Pain from Yoga Journal. These are some of my very favorites. Back pain or not, they just feel good.

11. Armed with a Sharpie and rocks, this guy is lifting people’s spirits every day. I love stories like this, people who are driven to make stuff for no other reason than to cheer people up, cheer people on.

12. On Failure, and Not-Failure from Emily McDowell. “TL;DR: Social media is a lie and I fail all the time. But it turns out failure is kind of a lie, too.” I’m so glad that the failure narrative is so popular right now. It makes me feel like I’m in really good company.

13. Wisdom from Friedrich Nietzsche, as shared on Brain Pickings, “There is no way to help any soul attain this happiness, however, so long as it remains shackled with the chains of opinion and fear.”

14. Teddy Bear the Porcupine’s Halloween Feast. This is from a few years ago, but it’s worth watching at the beginning of every fall.

15. 15+ Cats That Don’t Care About Your Personal Space on Bored Panda.

16. Tina Fey cracks up playing LaTina Fey. Thanks Billy Eichner.

17. Little Bird, keeping me entertained on my day off, a video on Facebook from Leanne Guzzwell that’s gone viral. And for good reason: so cute! It makes me want to jump around.

18. The best self-love resources, a really great list from Positively Present.

19. SUSDAT from Seth Godin. “Show up, sit down and type.”

20. How Making Art Changes Your Life and Why You Can’t Make it for That Reason, brilliance from Jen Louden.

21. Brave Enough on A Design So Vast.

22. Choose One Thing to Simplify Your Life (just one) from Be More With Less. I’ve been working with the idea of focusing on just one thing at a time, wanting to simplifying my life, so this list is a great help, and Courtney as always is a great resource. My favorites are #11, #13, #17, and #20.

23. The One Secret Thing All Successful People Do. LOVE it.

24. 11 Things Highly Creative People Sacrifice For Their Art. I wish I were brave enough to do all 11. What’s crazy is that I know if I did, I’d be happy, so what is stopping me?! Also interesting about this list is that it’s actually applicable to more than just artists. It could easily be reframed as a list for all humans who want to live their life fully awake and completely in it.

25. When acceptance isn’t for you, a recent newsletter from Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga.

26. You’re Not Too Tired To Create. You’re Too Distracted. Oh, snap!

27. 200 Key Sanskrit Yoga Terms from Yoga Journal.

28. Learning to Die. “My mother taught me many things, including, in the end, how to die.”

29. 19 Banned Books That Actually Changed Your Life from BuzzFeed.

30. 11 Charts That Will Speak To Everyone Who Fucking Loves Sleep from BuzzFeed. *gigglesnort*

31. Self-Taught Polish Artist Uses Fallen Autumn Leaves As Canvases For Her Paintings on Bored Panda.

32. Painter Flora Bowley’s new website is so pretty. I especially love her new Studio Diary series. Each month she’ll explore a different theme through a series videos, written prompts, etc. She’s offering the first month free. The theme is Awakening, and you can access it here — it includes a welcome video, mini painting lesson, real time painting demo, a chat with artist Kelly Rae Roberts, a Q & A with Flora, a guided meditation, a conscious movement session with Lynzee Lynx, smoothie recipes from Shannon Sims, etc. Did I mention this first month is FREE?!

33. Where the children sleep, a heartbreaking series from Magnus Wennman, winner of two World Press Photo Awards and fourfold winner of Sweden’s Photographer of the Year Award, who has met refugees in countless refugee camps and on their journeys through Europe this year.

The war in Syria has continued for almost five years and more than two million children are fleeing the war, within and outside of the country borders. They have left their friends, their homes, and their beds behind. A few of these children offered to show where they sleep now, when everything that once was no longer exists.

34. The Glass Is Already Broken from Adreanna Limbach. “Embracing impermanence can help us develop a deeper appreciation for every day and fill our lives with reverence.”

35. Girl Skulks Into a Room. This is a great read. Just trust me and click the link.

36. Daylight Saving – Movie Trailer. Hilarious.

37. Five Days In The Life: Single, Minimum-Wage Fast Food Working Mom in Chicago.

38. Orphaned Raccoon Rescued By Family With Dogs Thinks She’s A Dog, Too. Pumpkin the Raccoon is my new favorite Instagram account — stupid cute, (someone or something that is so attractive it disrupts your ability to intelligently process information while looking at it, something so unbelievably cute it makes you stupid). And, I think Ringo might be part raccoon.

39. 12 Tough Truths About Great Relationships from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

Something Good

Glacier Peak, image by Eric

Glacier Peak, image by Eric

1. The Workhorse and the Butterfly: Ann Patchett on Writing and Why Self-Forgiveness Is the Most Important Ingredient of Great Art on Brain Pickings. This book is on my summer reading list.

If a person has never given writing a try, they assume that a brilliant idea is hard to come by. But really, even if it takes some digging, ideas are out there. Just open your eyes and look at the world. Writing the ideas down, it turns out, is the real trick.

2. 10 Things to Remember About Toxic Family Members from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

3. A’driane on Chookooloonks. When I get some time, I really want to dig around A’driane’s blog. She’s talking about things that are really important. Really important and heartbreaking on Chookooloonks is Karen’s post Enough. And finally, this from Karen posted on Medium is fucking brilliant, To My White Friends Who Struggle With What To Say.

4. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: Colorado Preschool Takes Candy From a Baby and I’m Too Sexy For This Prom?

5. Are you certain that you’re trapped? from Seth Godin. Oh, snap!

6. The “After” Myth.

7. Wisdom from Mandeq Ahmed, (shared by Meg),

There are two
types of tired,
I suppose one is a dire need of sleep
the other is a dire need of peace.

8. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Fashion (HBO).

9. Good stuff on Bored Panda: Love Is In Small Things and Photographer Arranges Foods In Beautiful Color Gradients That Will Soothe Your Soul.

10. Obama on the Baltimore Riots: It’s About Decades of Inequality.

This is not new. This has been going on for decades. And without making any excuses for criminal activities that take place in these communities, we also know if you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, where children are born into abject poverty, they’ve got parents, often because of substance abuse problems or incarceration or lack of education, and themselves can’t do right by their kids, if it’s more likely that those kids end up in jail or dead than that they go to college, and communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men, communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing’s been stripped away, and drugs have flooded the community and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a lot of folks, in those environments, if we think that we’re just going to send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there without, as a nation, and as a society saying what can we do to change those communities to help lift up those communities and give those kids opportunity, then we’re not going to solve this problem, and we’ll go through this same cycles of periodic conflicts between the police and communities, and the occasional riots in the streets and everybody will feign concern until it goes away and we just go about our business as usual.

11. Wisdom from René Descartes,

If you would be a real seeker after truth,
it is necessary that at least once in your life
you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

12. ‘Ain’t no way you can sit here and be silent.’

13. Wisdom from “The Other America,” a speech by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Grosse Pointe High School – March 14, 1968, (which except for a few of the details reads like it could have been written this March 14th),

I’m absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.

…we must still face the fact that our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nations winters of delay. As long as justice is postponed we always stand on the verge of these darker nights of social disruption. The question now, is whether America is prepared to do something massively, affirmatively and forthrightly about the great problem we face in the area of race and the problem which can bring the curtain of doom down on American civilization if it is not solved…

The first thing I would like to mention is that there must be a recognition on the part of everybody in this nation that America is still a racist country. Now however unpleasant that sounds, it is the truth. And we will never solve the problem of racism until there is a recognition of the fact that racism still stands at the center of so much of our nation and we must see racism for what it is…And we’ve got to see that this still exists in American society. And until it is removed, there will be people walking the streets of live and living in their humble dwellings feeling that they are nobody, feeling that they have no dignity and feeling that they are not respected. The first thing that must be on the agenda of our nation is to get rid of racism.

14. He shows how the news talks about black people by talking about white people instead.

15. This teen boy got Instagram famous because of his campaign encouraging teen boys to support their female classmates.

16. Louis C.K. On Life And Stand-Up: ‘I Live In Service For My Kids,’ a Fresh Air interview.

17. Welcome Everybody, “a grassroots, nationwide project to demonstrate our collective strength against the continued attacks on civil liberties around the nation.”

18. Racism is Real, a short film.

19. Bud Light Withdraws Slogan After It Draws Ire Online.

20. I don’t know shit about Baltimore on Renegade Mothering.

21. What If I Discover I’m Horrible at What I Want To Do? from Laura Simms.

22. Swarming Hummingbirds. I want this in my front yard.

23. Baby pulled from Nepal earthquake rubble after 22 hours.

24. when all else fails* from Karen Maezen Miller.

25. Our Witnessing Must Be Sustained.

It’s one of the most complex, urgent American stories being told. The cameras might stop rolling, but it won’t end anytime soon. Don’t let it. Keep reading. Keep watching. Keep listening. Keep looking for a way to be a part of the crowd with its hands on the moral arc, bending, bending, bending. However long it takes.

26. ‘Getting old ain’t for sissies’: Cartoonist Jack Ohman draws his dad’s final years.

27. Maybe Gluten is Not the Devil after all.

28. David Whyte Recites “The Journey.”

29. Reality check: ALL eating is “emotional” from Isabel Foxen Duke.

30. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

When things fall apart and we can’t get the pieces back together, when we lose something dear to us, when the whole thing is just not working and we don’t know what to do, this is the time when the natural warmth of tenderness, the warmth of empathy and kindness, are just waiting to be uncovered, just waiting to be embraced. This is our chance to come out of our self-protecting bubble and to realize that we are never alone. This is our chance to finally understand that wherever we go, everyone we meet is essentially just like us. Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us to a loving relationship with the world.

31. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Struggles With Suicides Among Its Young.

32. SLyme Disease: How A Speck Changed My Life Forever by Amy Tan.

33. One year of emptiness at the Krach Leadership Center.

34. Shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: go to the woods, find your original medicine and How to Write a Memoir: 6 Creative Ways to Tell a Powerful Story.

35. Shared in this week’s edition of Austin Kleon’s newsletter: Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, and
The Referendum, and David Letterman Reflects on 33 Years in Late-Night Television.

36. Freddie Gray’s death ruled a homicide and 6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death.

37. Bothered by Baltimore’s riots? Where have you been — for decades? and I’m white. I flew to Baltimore to protest. Here’s why.

38. Proof of Hope, “An honest depiction of the positive actions taking place in Baltimore, which have not yet been widely acknowledged.”

39. For the one who… from Isabel Faith Abbott.

40. Good stuff from Allowing Myself, a blog you should be reading: Energy All Over and On My Walk and On Being A Badass and, one of the most beautiful things ever written, Have Love, Will Travel.

41. Kristen Wiig plays Daenerys Targaryen—and it’s all we ever wanted, which made me laugh even though I’ve never watched Game of Thrones.

42. Yes, Unsubscribe From Netflix: These Small Steps Matter for Native Self-Esteem.

43. Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up, (shared on Positively Present Picks).

44. Good stuff from Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Emotional Intelligence: The Social Skills You Weren’t Taught in School, and How to find time to read, and Things That Scare Me.

45. A University Is Not Walmart.

46. Carol and Flora Bowley. What cancer looks like. What love looks like.

47. Health Experts Recommend Standing Up At Desk, Leaving Office, Never Coming Back. Funny, because it’s true.

Something Good (on a Tuesday)

1. This quote from David Whyte, from his Readers’ Circle Essay, “Self Knowledge.”

Self-knowledge is not clarity or transparency or knowing how everything works, self-knowledge is a fiercely attentive form of humility and thankfulness, a sense of the privilege of a particular form of participation. It is a coming to know of the way we hold the conversation of life, and perhaps, above all, the miracle that there is a particular something rather than an abstracted nothing and that we are a very, very particular part of that particular something.

2. My 30-Day Blog Love Affair:: Day #1. It’s on! from Flora Bowley.

3. The Definition of Practice on Elephant Journal, in which James Carpenter says, “And what does not practicing mean? I think it means dealing with those times when you feel like you’re not good enough, strong enough or prepared enough to get what you want.”

Also on Elephant Journal, Finding the Courage to Be Yourself by Aimee Hoefler.

4. From Jennifer Boyken:

Did you grow up hearing this: “Don’t cry or I’ll give you a reason to cry.” If you rebelled, even just a little, did you hear: “You ought to be ashamed of yourself?”

Society and parenting was different a generation ago. Many little girls were raised to blend in and not make a ruckus. As a result, many of us are still uncomfortable and inexperienced at expressing anger. Instead, it comes out sideways — via depression, moodiness, passive aggressiveness, and the like.

5. 10 Reasons Why You Have To Quit Your Job This Year on Thought Catalog.

6. From Tama J. Kieves,

You will let go of attachment in your own right time. You will leap. You will stay. You will know what to do. Never believe you are doing it wrong. You are doing it the way you are doing it and that will teach you everything.

7. From Pema Chödrön,

The path of meditation and the path of our lives altogether has to do with curiosity, inquisitiveness. The ground is ourselves; we’re here to study ourselves and to get to know ourselves now, not later. People often say to me, “I wanted to come and have an interview with you, I wanted to write you a letter, I wanted to call you on the phone, but I wanted to wait until I was more together.” And I think, “Well, if you’re anything like me, you could wait forever!” So come as you are. The magic is being willing to open to that, being willing to be fully awake to that. One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we are. That’s not considered to be a problem; the point is to see it.

8. How I Finally Gave Up Dieting, by Annabel Adams, a guest post on A Weight Lifted.

9. The Best Life Advice From Maya Angelou on Flavorwire.

10. Powering Down from Judy Clement Wall, which includes a bunch of good links, including Show the World Your Magic, a post by artist Mati Rose, and Relax. You’re Already Ok. Also: Pimp Suits in which Meg Worden says “But you should also know that just surviving all of the intensity and grief you have had to survive in this one go-round and still waking up every day and making a play for love is so beautiful it could crush my heart.”

11. Simplify for Your Best Health from Be More With Less. If I had to do a purge, this is one of the blogs that I simply would not give up.

12. Rodger Ebert died this week, only one day after I’d heard that his cancer had come back, barely enough time to comprehend that news before there was worse. A few of his quotes that I’ve been carrying around this week are:

Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

And this,

When I am writing, my problems become invisible, and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.

He wrote a piece for Salon in 2011, I do not fear death, in which he said, “I will pass away sooner than most people who read this, but that doesn’t shake my sense of wonder and joy.”

13. My Well-Fed Life: Laura Simms, from Rachel Cole, in which Laura says, among other brilliant and wise things, “Well-fed is asking ‘what are you truly hungry for?’ and daring to act on the answer.”

14. Reasons My Son Is Crying–you’ll want to laugh, you’ll want to cry.

15. Finding Me Some Outgoing Guts and Imagination from the amazing teacher and wild writer Laurie Wagner. (P.S. I get to finally tell her to her sweet face how much I adore her later this year).

16. From Brave Girls Club Daily Truth Email, something I really needed to hear,

Sometimes the things that are tugging at our hearts come with strings attached that feel too risky, too difficult, to scary to follow.

Sometimes we keep doing the same things day after day, even though we are treading AGAINST the water, even though we really want to be doing something else, even though we want to be somewhere else or with someone else, even though all signs point to a totally different direction.

You know what you are supposed to do, lovely…you know the answer. Your intuition has been telling you for SUCH a long time, and every day that goes by, the little messages keep getting stronger, the miracles keep showing up, the signs keep appearing….in ways that you can not deny.

It doesn’t matter if your path is not a common one. It doesn’t matter if some people will not understand…sometimes it doesn’t even matter whether WE understand all of it. What matters is that you follow YOUR heart…that you listen to YOUR soul….that you do what YOU are meant to do.

That’s what matters. Now, get busy….you know what to do. You are so loved. xoxo

17. This truth, from My Son is Smarter than Me on Nourishing the Soul,

We are all born with a natural sense of what our bodies need to flourish. Nature doesn’t want us to eat too much or too little. It wants us to grow into the size and shape that’s right for us – and that takes eating as much as is right for us. Not as much as some “expert” tells us is the right amount. If we can cut through all the static, we are our own experts.

18. Some really important questions from Kristin Noelle’s post on Trust Tending, Where the race for change can’t lead, “How can my soul come more alive? How can I say YES to my callings? How can I cultivate what it takes to live beyond the dictates of my fear?”

19. 30 Beautiful Things Happening Now from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

20. This wisdom from a post on Scoutie Girl, A Little Restraint Goes a Long Way, “A little restraint goes a long way and it doesn’t work for me if it starts to touch on my inherent worth as a human being. As soon as refraining is beating myself up I’ve lost the game.”

21. sunken treasure – the house of sophie schellekens, a link originally shared in this post on decor8, Inspired by Plants.

22. How to Eat Real Food Without Spending Hours in the Kitchen, a guest post by Jules Clancy on Zen Habits.

23. On Being a Teacher by Susannah Conway. She is such an inspiration to me, how she is making her living.

24. good reads: elle decor uk. from SF Girl by Bay.

25. Your Daily Life: Only Kindness Matters on 37 Days, Patti Digh’s blog.

26. Note from The Universe,

And the day will come when all of the gold in the world will not appeal to you as much, Jill, as just one more day of being who and where you already are, with what you already have. If it hasn’t already.

27. Olivia Rae James, who takes gorgeous photographs, shared by SF Girl by the Bay in this post.

28. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: 3 Paths Toward a More Creative Life, and How to do less and live more from Kris Carr (did I share this already?).

29. Thoughts on the Creative Career by Ze Frank

30. Happiness Images In Sidewalk Art, Stickers, Magnets And More (PHOTOS) on Huffington Post.

31. What’s in my Fridge by Kris Carr.

32. This wisdom, a wish and a warning, “In the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness,” Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Something Good (and a few confessions)

1. Radio Enso #73: Buddhist teacher and author Susan Piver. “In this in-depth and inspirational conversation, we’ll discuss meditation (what IS meditation?, misconceptions about it, etc.), Buddhism, dharma, The Open Heart Project, and Susan’s life journey from a young girl who was always seeking to her life as a teacher, author, and lifelong spiritual practitioner.”

2. How Change Can Save Your Life, from Positively Present. A really great discussion of change, which is inevitable. And, Mourning Sickness: 6 Steps for Coping with Loss, a beautiful contemplation on a brutal experience, in which she says,

Despite the sadness and pain, the true despair of losing a best friend, there is still beauty in life. The beauty of now doesn’t override from the pain of remembering what was, but it helps. Loss will never be painless, but we have some control over how much we suffer.

3. 10 Trust Habits to Support Your Next Scary Step, from Trust Tending with Kristin Noelle.

4. Marina Abramovic and Ulay.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

5. These Aren’t Your Average Snapshots: Bill Gekas’ Portraits of His Daughter as Classic Paintings.

6. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, a super interesting TED Talk. And Chuck Wendig’s response on Terrible Minds, The Art of Asking: For Writers and Storytellers.

7. The Art of Reframing Difficult Emotions, on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Losing Your Mind and Finding Your Self, Ed and Deb Shapiro on The Huffington Post.

9. The Young Girl Who’s Best Friends with African Wildlife. A really fun set of pictures.

Born in Africa to French wildlife photographer parents, Tippi Degré had a most unusual childhood. The young girl grew up in the African desert and developed an uncommon bond with many untamed animals including a 28-year old African elephant named Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, lion cubs, giraffes, an Ostrich, a mongoose, crocodiles, a baby zebra, a cheetah, giant bullfrogs, and even a snake. Africa was her home for many years and Tippi became friends with the ferocious animals and tribespeople of Namibia. As a young child, the French girl said, “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends.”

10. Meditation And Mourning: 3 Obstacles to Successful Grieving, by Lodro Rinzler on The Huffington Post.

11. This quote, so important: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa

12. Open Your Heart to Change the World, an older post from Susan Piver, but fundamental.

13. How I Got the Job and Lost Myself, from Liv Lane, (I confess, I sometimes feel this way about my paid work).

14. Ash Beckham at Ignite Boulder 20, a sane argument for not using the word “gay” as a pejorative, for acceptance rather than tolerance of gay people, (I confess, I love and accept gay people).

15. Book Porn: The 30 Best Places To Be If You Love Books(I confess, I am a bibliophile).

16. Flora Bowley post it notes, oh my, (I confess, I love post it notes).

17. She’s Worth It Fundraising Campaign. A more than worthy cause.

18. Pema Chödrön’s Three Bite Practice.

You can do this anytime you eat a meal. Before taking the first bite, just pause and think of those men and women of wisdom and mentally offer them your food. In this way, you connect with the virtue of devotion.

Before taking the second bite, pause and offer your food to all those who’ve been kind to you. This nurtures the virtues of gratitude and appreciation. The third bite is offered to those who are suffering: all the people and animals who are starving, or being tortured or neglected, without comfort or friends. Think, too, of all of us who suffer from aggression, craving, and indifference. This simple gesture awakens the virtue of compassion.

In this way—by relying on our teachers, our benefactors, and those in need—we gather the virtues of devotion, gratitude, and kindness.

19. When the Universe Has Been Listening All Along, a beautiful post from Christina Rosalie. Also from Christina, 35 Words, “A project with my friend Willow I are doing: 35 Words + an image every day for the year.”

20. The Burning HouseI knew about the book, but hadn’t heard of the blog until I read about it on SF Girl by Bay.

21. A quote from Goldie Hawn, “If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself,” (I confess, I can’t remember who originally shared this quote).

22. This quote from Barry Magid, (shared by Carry It Forward), “Happiness or enlightenment is not something that takes place in our brains. They are functions of a whole person living a whole life.”

23. And this quote from William Henry Channing, (shared by Patti Digh as a Daily Rock on 37 Days),

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.

24. Weight Loss and Recovery—Can they Coexist? Is Recovery Even Possible After So Long? I so appreciate Lori’s sane discussions of dis-ordered eating.

25. With Gratitude, Hope Growsa post about surrendering to the creative process, showing up and allowing what happens, written by Juliette Crane for Your Heart Makes a Difference.

26. Quote from Ram Daas,

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves, where we can look at all that is happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.

27. A really good question from Rumi, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” Why, indeed.

28. Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, a great post by Rita on This (Sorta) Old Life which shares this quote,

we can’t do it all. but we can all do something… the path is set before us and we only need take a little step each day. soon we will look back and be amazed at how far we’ve come. and we can do it without sacrificing those things that matter most in our life and our heart: the main thing. keep the main thing the main thing. (from Grace Uncommon via Leilani at Tales of a Clyde Woman)

29. This quote from the brilliant Geneen Roth,

When I realized I didn’t have to keep “paying” for my life in pounds of suffering, there was a shift. I realized that living wasn’t about deserving, but allowing. Allowing myself to have what I already had. And each of us has so much all the time…

If, today, you made a commitment to allow yourself to have what you already have instead of constantly having to prove that you are worth it in the many ways we strive to prove ourselves, what would you see? What would you know? Can you allow yourselves to have the safety, the love, the beauty, the breath that you already have? Will you give yourself that much–now?

30. A grieving mom’s advice to the rest of us: Love purely, and take it easy, a beautiful and heartbreaking post from Emily Rapp.

31. This song has been in my head, A Thousand Tiny Pieces, from The Be Good Tanyas.

32. soundtrack to your life | rachel cole, in which Sas Petherick interviews Rachel, (the reason that song has been in my head).

33. When Your Work Life is Destroying Your Good Life, on Be More With Less.

34. This song is also in my head, Ellie Goulding – Dead In The Water (Live At iTunes Festival 2012)

35. Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

36. You can’t do any better (but you can feel better), from Marianne Elliott.

37. How Mindfulness Can Help You Discover What You Want to Do in Life, on Tiny Buddha.

38. Lowering Your Standardsa Daily Rock on 37 Days.

39. Minimalism, a post on Smalltopia.

40. Eight years, by Susannah Conway, a post on grief, healing, and tattoos.

41. Daily Happiness: 9 Simple Ways to Find it in Your Life, a post on the Positivity Blog, originally shared on Positively Present.

42. A quote by Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

43. Approximately 3 Minutes Inside The Head of My 2 Year Old by Jason Good. Funny, and I might be a two year old.

44. Observe These Hands, My Dear. from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

I watched the dogs chase each other in the snow and heard the robins singing—a sure bellwether of spring—and the happiness welled up a little bit in me because I was right there, just doing the next thing, and it’s those moments I feel no need to change myself, Fix Myself, do anything to myself to make myself different so other people will be OK with me and my actions. Actually it wasn’t happiness, it was just contentment. The opposite of “discontent.”

“Content”—the word comes from the Latin for contain or to hold. In those moments I feel held, safe.

45. This quote from Julia Cameron, “I love to write. Which isn’t to say that it’s always easy.” Amen.

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to experience?

Swimming. I can’t. Well, I sort of can–I can keep myself from drowning for about three minutes, but it’s not pretty, and that’s what’s stopped me from learning, from relaxing into what I might already know–fear, of drowning, of dying, of being out of control and uncool. But, I wish to know what it feels like to glide through the water, to feel safe and confident there. And Jamie Ridler told me I have mermaid hair, so I think it’s required of me to know how to swim.

Performing, singing and playing my ukelele. I wish to take lessons for both and someday get on stage to sing and play my little heart out (but not all by myself, maybe as part of a band?).

I wish to experience being in a flash mob.

I wish to experience holding my published book in my hands. I’ve held it (them?) in my heart and my head and my notebooks and computer files for so long, I wish to manifest its full form, to share it. I wish to know what that feels like, being able to claim that I am a writer, an “author” in a way I’m not able to yet.

Spending a whole summer in Amsterdam. I still can’t really explain it, but I love this place, and I think spending the summer in a house boat or apartment in the center of town, walking or taking the train, shopping in the outdoor markets, visiting museums and writing in cafes, would be amazing.

Spending two months traveling around all of Europe.

Spending time in Japan. I’ve never been, but I love everything about it, the aesthetic, the mood. I’d find shrines and meditate, I’d take an Ikebana class from a master, I’d see the cherry blossoms and the maple trees and the cranes, I’d eat the food, see the people (trying not to stare or be rude), and I’d take a million pictures.

I wish to experience speaking another language fluently.

Leading a retreat. The more I think about it, dream and plan, the more of them I visit as an attendee or even do on my own, the more I wish to offer this to others, to give them the gift of being able to sink into practice, to soften and relax and open in a supportive and inspiring environment.

Teaching an ecourse. Another thing I am thinking of, dreaming and planning.

Teaching yoga and meditation. Along with writing, these two practices have benefited me so much that I want to be able to share them, to have the knowledge, skill and training necessary to do so effectively, ethically, and safely.

Finding my “thing,” my unique offering, and being a creative entrepreneur, being able to quit my paid work if I’d like.

Being able to make, sew, build, craft whatever I can imagine, and selling it in my etsy shop.

Making art and taking a workshop with Patti Digh.

Doing yoga and going on a retreat with Jennifer Louden.

Painting and yoga with Flora Bowley.

In person Wild Writing with Laurie Wagner.

Finding and making magic with Andrea Scher.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail (at least some of it) with Eric.

Having an urban farm. I wish to get my hands dirty, to tend the earth, to provide, feeding not just us, but having enough to share, and keeping animals and insects too, chickens and rabbits and bees and ladybugs. I would love to have a cow, but I wouldn’t be able to eat it.

I wish to experience healing, whatever form that might take.

I wish to experience complete self-love, acceptance, worthiness.

I wish to experience wholeness and wellness.

I wish to experience my life, all of the beauty and brutality it has to offer, the whole thing, all of it, and to know at the end that I made a difference, that I showed up with an open heart and was loved, that I mattered and was able to ease suffering in the world.

Something Good

this morning’s foggy walk

Today starts the sad countdown: this is our last Monday at the beach. Next Monday, we’ll wake up in Idaho and start the long final day of driving to get home to Fort Collins. The weather here at the beach the last few days has been foggy and rainy with very few sun breaks, and in a way, we are glad. A week of not so great weather at the end will make it easier to leave.

1. Reject the Allure of Stuff on Be More With Less by the badass Courtney Carver, (who I got to meet just last week). I feel right now like I need to read every word she writes, she’s so right on about everything I am feeling and longing for in my life, a clearing out and simplifying, a clarity of focus. Her “this over that” strategy is brilliant.

2. Flora Bowley has a blog! Already this morning, it made me cry twice. Her last two posts were amazing. She is doing some really good stuff right now, blooming big and bright and true, so I suggest you keep an eye on her.

Last week, when I was in Portland, I was walking to Kelly Rae Robert’s studio for a get-together pre-WDS, and saw a woman waiting for the streetcar holding Flora’s book, Brave Intuitive Painting-Let Go, Be Bold, Unfold!: Techniques for Uncovering Your Own Unique Painting Style, and told her “that’s a really great book.” Then on the main floor of Kelly Rae’s building, there’s a shop called Hunt & Gather that had lots of Flora’s paintings, so I was thinking about her, how amazing the book and how much I love her work, on the way upstairs. It was a magical surprise when I entered the studio and there Flora was! I hadn’t known she would be there.

3. Seventeen Magazine Gets Real by Liv Lane. Self-love, acceptance, and stepping into your own power.

4. Jen Lee’s conversation with Jonatha Brooke, Turning Points & No Regrets, from her Retrospective podcast series. Jonatha is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. In fact, just the other day, I was driving up HWY 101 with Steady Pull in the CD player having my own little dance party, flash mob of one. Both of these women inspire me, and together the inspiration was three times as powerful, (I never said I could do math).

5. A Profound Idea that Can Change Your Life by Jennifer Louden. This is a powerful post. I got to talk with Jennifer last week at WDS, tell her how much I adore her, thank her for all the good work she does. What I loved the most about it was that in person she’s exactly what I expected: full of energy, kind and generous, and so funny.

6. How to Not Care Too Much About What People May Think of You. I’m still thinking about the conversation Julia and I had about fear, how she said that at the heart of most fear is “what they will think of me,” so the timing of this post on The Positivity Blog was perfect.

7. Reflections on the World Domination Summit. There have been lots of really good ones, but some of my favorites so far are these:

8. A Letter from Your Calling by Tara Sophia Mohr on Tiny Buddha. “I weep for the joy you are missing out on. I weep because you aren’t getting to witness your immense strength and brilliance. I weep for what the world is missing out on too.” Yep, I needed to hear this, again.

9. Freedom on miss minimalist. Another one I needed to hear again. Between Miss Minimalist and Badass Courtney Carver, there’s hope for me yet.

10. Book Spine Poetry Vol. 6 on Brain Pickings. I absolutely love these.

11. Save the Lyric Theater Kickstarter project. You know how much I love Kickstarter, and this theater is near and dear to my heart and my home. I’ll be giving, and I hope enough others are compelled to do so as well.

12. Simplify from Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. It’s like the universe is sending me a message, a pretty direct and obvious one I think.

13. Things She Says: Things my Three Year Old Says. This project is awesome and adorable, and I dare you to look and not smile.

14. Movie Day with my mom. This is one of my favorite things, to rent three or four movies and spend all day watching them with my mom. We live 1200 miles apart, so I only get to do this about once a year, and tomorrow is the day. Woo-hoo!

15. And this quote: “The aim of all religions…is recovery of our real nature by awakening from the living-dream,” (Wei Wu Wei). I’m going to add that the aim of every life is the discovery of our real nature, our innate wisdom and compassion, to wake up to that.