Tag Archives: Geneen Roth

Something Good

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

Horsetooth Reservoir, image by Eric

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

1. Leap Day! A whole extra day! What are you doing with yours, kind and gentle reader?

2. Kids reading to shelter dogs. I’m glad they are doing this, because I’m not allowed in the shelter — I would want to bring all the dogs home.

3. Author and poet Mahogany L. Browne gives her #BriefButSpectacular take on “Black Girl Magic.” So beautiful, so important.

4. I want to try these recipes: Chocolate Guinness Cake, Everyday Chocolate Cake, and Vidalia Onion Upside Down Cornbread, and Ayurvedic Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Soup.

5. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

If we want there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close. We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s true spiritual warriorship. That’s the true practice of peace.

6. From mailboxes to super soakers, check out these 10 items you never knew were invented by black Americans. #blackhistorymonth

7. In related news, 100 Years of Beauty – Episode 18: USA Men 2 (Lester). Every time I watch one of these videos, I am so appreciative of the effort it must have taken to put it together. (And btw, I don’t think the 90s was a good era in fashion for anyone). And while you are at it, check out the other videos on WatchCut Video’s YouTube channel. They’ve got lots of cools stuff, such as this video One Word – Episode 32: Binge Eating (Eating Disorders).

8. What They Did With These Shower Curtain Rods Might just Be The Most Secretly Genius Idea Ever.

9. Snow Day. A cheetah and dog pair have their first snowy experience.

10. The moment of truth: We must stop Trump.

11. A love letter from your fat friend: It’s okay. You’re fat.

12. None of this matters when you’re dead, “Or why I don’t care that my decade worth of blog content has been lost.” I don’t think I’d be so cool about it if this happened to me.

13. Beginner-Friendly Meditation Retreats in Some of the World’s Most Beautiful Settings. #3 is one of my favorite places on the planet, (so much so that I kinda wish they hadn’t included it cause I want to keep it my own little secret).

14. Interview with Emily Brown, from BodyLove on Light Folly.

15. Why Kale May Kill Us, So I’m Getting a Divorce. In related news, Greens, Kale & Thyroid Problems. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and I didn’t know this.

16. Quirky New Chalk Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor by David Zinn. Super cute. I love it that there are people in the world that take the time to do this, to practice their art, to surprise people with the joy of it.

17. Writing Down The Bones: 30 Years Later. One of my favorite writing teachers. And I am constantly amazed — this was her FIRST book. One of the most important writing books ever, in my humble opinion, and it was the first one she wrote.

18. Michelle Nijhuis’s Brief Guide to Writing Reported Essays.

19. 6 Illustrations That Show What It’s Like in an Introvert’s Head.

20. Simplicity is the Way Back to Love from Be More With Less.

21. Art at Altitude: Watch Artist Simon Beck Trample Calculated Murals onto Snowy Mountaintops. So much effort for something that’s just going to melt — and yet, it all melts eventually, doesn’t it?

22. Tips and Myths About Extending Smartphone Battery Life. I don’t know about you, but the state of my cellphone charge gives me such anxiety, so this was very helpful.

23. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup, “Unless one is omniscient or at least enjoys some degree of clairvoyance, no one can judge others. One can see how others appear and how they are behaving, but not who they are or why they are behaving in a particular manner.” During this season of politics, I’ve had to remind myself of this again and again.

24. How to make peanut butter toast. This seems to be about more than just peanut butter toast.

25. That Time I Stole an Atkin’s Diet Book From Bj’s from Mara Glatzel. I love everything about this.

26. The life that’s left from Jamie Greenwood. This is such a good reminder. “The only thing I was ever promised at birth was life and THIS, this loss wrapped in pain wrapped in sweet remembrance wrapped in joy, is all part of the package.”

27. 5 Reasons to Meditate by Pema Chödrön. “Yes, it’s a strange thing to do — just sit there and do basically nothing. Yet the simple act of stopping, says Pema Chödrön, is the best way to cultivate our good qualities. Here are five ways it makes us better people.”

28. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

There really is no one on this entire planet who knows every single thing that you have lived through, that you have learned, that you have endured, that you have overcome, that you have feared, that you have loved, that you have grieved, that you have built, that you have dreamed up, that you have worked toward. This is why, incredible soul, it is so important to hold yourself to be as sacred as you truly are.

You are a whole lot of beautifulness, in little things and in big things. You are a whole lot of colorfulness woven together in a way that has never ever ever been woven. Don’t let others try to define you, sweet friend. Don’t let others minimize you or try to squeeze you tight into a box that makes them comfortable. You are you and you are too wild and sparkling to fit inside of ANY box. You are meant to shine your light. When you need to feel 100% understood, turn to the source of truth and light. And turn to that beautiful soul inside of you — she is so so so wise.

And remember that we can never know every single thing about others, either. We are all very complicated souls, and we would all be a lot happier if we gave everyone a little bit of grace and focus on the good things we DO know.

29. Women and Body Image with Isabel Foxen Duke, an interview. “On women and body image with the fabulous Isabel Foxen Duke as well as helpful tips and tactics to free yourself from body worries.”

30. How To Deal With Haters. Unfortunately in this age of social media, this is something we all face at one time or another, and this is really sound advice.

31. Reactions: Not everything in life is Likable. This is a really great article that talks about how the new Facebook reaction options were developed.

32. Manny Selfie Cat, one of the best accounts on Instagram.

33. Fatphobic Nurse Makes Me Say F*ck Seven Times and 11 Reasons Why I Focus On Health and Not Weight from Dances with Fat.

34. A Mother’s Confession: A Song with Footnotes from Amanda Palmer. Trigger alert: if you are a mom, this might just wreck you.

35. Wisdom from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “If we don’t develop contentment, we can never have what we want or enjoy what we have.” Oh, snap!

36. Exquisite Curiosity and Food from Geneen Roth.

37. One of my new favorite songs, ATTLAS – Parallel Lines.

38. Magic Tricks from Jena Schwartz. So beautiful. Writers like Jena raise the bar for my writing in the best possible way.

39. The Hunger for Rest, an important reminder from the amazing Rachel Cole, because this, “If you find yourself eating as a way to avoid the rest you’re craving or as a way to silence your inner critic who bashes you for your laziness, consider embracing your unique needs for rest and see what happens.”

40. Our Everloving Quest to Control Our Lives from Zen Habits. This is such an important read. We should all probably just memorize it, recite it in the mirror every morning. We’d all be so much happier if we could “get” just this one thing.

41. Five Ways To Love Yourself Courageously on Life is Limitless. This is also so important. Caroline starts by saying, “I’ve been focused on personal growth quite intensely now for many years, I’ve read countless books, taken various courses, spent years in therapy, worked with a number of coaches and the number one thing that I learnt from it all is this: If you don’t love yourself deeply and completely, then you can’t ever be truly happy.”

Something Good

1. Christmas Time Is Here – Daniela Andrade ft. Cutest Dog in the Galaxy. This is from last year, but it’s still my favorite, the video and the song. Daniela’s Christmas album, simply called The Christmas EP, is one of my favorites.

2. THEN & NOW: This Dog Destroys Every Stuffed Animal Except This One. My Dexter had a similar toy, Little D.

dexterwithlittled

Dexter and his Little D

3. Building a Mindful New Year Together with Susan Piver. “6 days, 6 themes, 12 meditations, 9 teachers,” December 26th – 31st, FREE. I did this program last year and loved it.

4. Cats you will fall in love with in under 3 seconds, the cutest, funniest of compilation videos.

5. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, “The purpose of healing is not to be forever happy; that is impossible. The purpose of healing is to be awake. And to live while you are alive instead of dying while you are alive. Healing is about being broken and whole at the same time. Healing is about opening our hearts, not closing them. It is about softening the places in us that won’t let love in. Healing is a process.”

6. Joyful January from Writing Our Way Home. “31 days of joy” which includes 31 daily emails, an essay on joy, four daily joy practices, and a guide to writing small stones. This would make a great last minute holiday gift.

7. Wisdom from Michael Xavier,

So,
You want to be tough.
You want to be rebellious.
You want to be a bad ass.

Then show your heart to everyone…

EVERYONE.

8. Solace, Helene Athanasiadis’s upcoming book, “A poetic study of the beautiful spaces women create for themselves. Rooms of serenity & calm, to retreat from the everyday…solace.” The images she’s shared so far are gorgeous. (Thanks to Pia for the share).

9. Wisdom from Tom Gates, “It’s a lot easier to be angry at someone than it is to tell them you’re hurt.”

10. The 100 Day Promise from Sandi Amorim. “The 100 Day Promise is a practice that guides you through the process of change in an in-depth and soulful way.” An amazing program, a brilliant coach, and a wonderful gift to give yourself.

11. 2015’s Best News Bloopers Are Here And They’re Out Of Control. Couldn’t stop laughing, had to pause the video a few times to let myself catch my breath.

12. What getting your period is like, according to stock photography. This reminds me of Women Laughing Alone With Salad.

13. Week-long Spring Meditation Retreat with Lodro Rinzler. You have to pay travel and room, but the program is FREE.

14. Money Talks with Maya Stein. Love her, love this.

15. A Christmas Carol Starring… You!, a fun contemplation from Positively Present.

16. Brother Reunites With His 2 Siblings By Surprising Them With A New House.

17. Neil Gaiman On Returning To ‘Sandman,’ Talking In His Sleep And The Power Of Comics. Gah, I love him…

18. Hilarious Winners of the First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.’ Make sure to check out the whole set.

19. The Compassion Collective. “Today’s refugee crisis is the worst humanitarian emergency the world has seen since World War II. Just as the Greatest Generation’s response to the holocaust defined them, so will our response define us. We want to be remembered as the generation that chose Love over Fear.”

20. Living in a high-stakes universe, in which Seth Godin says, “We’re capable of doing great work without the drama. In fact, over time, the lack of drama can enable us to do great work.” *mic drop*

21. You cannot create a more compassionate world if you’re treating yourself like crap. Word. This line really got to me, “View our schedules as a sacred prayer for how we are shaping our lives.”

22. Here’s How To Do Therapy On Yourself, According To A Therapist.

23. Stop Blaming the Alcoholic. This statistic is shocking, even to me who has been so close to this issue, “Eighteen million people in the U.S. suffer from alcohol use disorder.”

24. The Bitterly Honest Gift Guide.

25. Adele Live in New York City. “Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Adele performs a special one-night only concert in New York at Radio City Music Hall. This extraordinary performance marks the artist’s first concert in the U.S. since fall 2011 and her largest show to date in New York.” Can’t wait to watch this.

26. A Christmas Story from Sunni Chapman. Seriously so sweet. *sniffle*

27. This post from Unofficial: Keanu Reeves Online on Facebook, which makes such an important point, and ends with this,

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.

28. What Victoria’s Secret taught Me About Worth, Value and Self Care.

29. Good stuff from Karen Walrond’s This Was a Good Week list: The Sixth Annual James Garfield Miracle (The Bloggess doing really really really good stuff), and Hygge! from Danny Gregory.

30. Check out Matt Bellassai’s latest video on his Facebook page, “First Annual Matt’s Least Favorite Things.”

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric

1. 40 Rituals that Make Relationships Last 40+ Years from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

2. Is Addiction A Habit Or A Disease?

3. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: Licked Some Donuts? Don’t Blame Fat Kids, and Even if Weight Loss Would Solve Every Problem, and That Ridiculous Oprah Crop Top Thing, and What My Body is Not.

4. Wisdom from Freya Stark, “There can be no happiness if the things we
believe in are different from the things we do.”

5. Zucchini Parmesan recipe. If you are like me, you’ve always got lots of extra zucchini.

6. Artist Creates Impossible Towers Of Balanced Rocks To Meditate.

7. “That’s What Happened Between Me and Clark,” Revising Old Hollywood’s Greatest Scandal..

8. Proximity Leads to Understanding by Sharon Salzberg.

9. How we’re honoring the teen who died saving her friend’s life.

10. Scenes from the Weekend: Jacksonville, OR & Beyond on Rowdy Kittens.

11. Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism, Unconscious Racism, and Silent Racism. “FREE 4-Week Online Seminar: Online Readings, Live Conversations, and Interviews about Racism.”

12. For The Broken Ones, The Sad Ones, The Ones Who Are Falling Apart from Rebelle Society.

13. Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.

14. Obama, Confronted With Bill Cosby Question, Shares Message Of Zero Tolerance For Rape.

15. True Confessions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

16. Photo essay: Migrants share their most cherished belongings.

17. (sorta) Losing my religion on Rita’s Notebook.

18. things that don’t need explaining on A Design So Vast.

19. 8 things i’ve figured out by forty-eight on Chookooloonks.

20. Let Go. Say No. Be Awestruck. on Be More With Less.

21. Deeply Delicious by Geneen Roth.

22. california dreamin’ on SF Girl by Bay.

23. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

All of us have this precious human birth. We’re fortunate enough not to be starving; we’re fortunate enough to have food and shelter; we’re fortunate enough to hear the teachings and be given methods to wake up; we’re fortunate enough to have good intelligence and the luxury to explore and question why we and others suffer. We have a tremendous amount going for us, so this is the crucial time to practice.

24. Writing A Lot, Writing A Little, And The Power Of Failure on Terrible Minds.

25. The Year I Embraced Minimalism and Completed a Yearlong Shopping Ban.

26. Amid Devastation, Tig Notaro Searched For A Sense Of Humor.

27. This YouTuber Wants To Know Why It’s Only Plus-Size Women That Are Shamed For Eating Junk Food.

28. Periwinkle on Allowing Myself.

Something Good

1. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte on Facebook,

Want to get unstuck? Maybe it’s time to stop analyzing it.

You can work out your family of origin issues, and neuroses, and past life traumas with your shrink or your shaman. You can talk talk talk it out all day long (I know, I’ve done it). You can trace the cause of your wounds and why you’re so stuck. But at some point, eventually, who cares WHY you’re stuck. Instead of focusing on how you got to where you are, you’ve got to shift your attention to where you’d rather be.

I’ve had at least a thousand conversations about success and desire. And I’ve noticed that when someone starts over-explaining WHY they’re stuck, it can be an indicator that they’re not 100% interested in getting unstuck. Recapitulating the past can provide a lot of comfort and confirmation. But…

Too much analysis can create paralysis.

As the saying goes, “Who cares why the elephant is standing on your foot? Just get him off.”

When I worked one-on-one with strategy clients, I began starting our session with this: “I’m asking you, for this hour together, to try to not talk about your past. We’re here to create your future, let’s just declare that the past has little bearing on where you want to go.” Some folks squirmed, could barely resist slipping into old stories. Some people were like, “What a great idea. I’m so tired of my story. Let’s move forward!”

Sometimes you can’t see why you were stuck until after you get unstuck. Hindsight and high-sight solves a lot of mysteries. In the mean time, you’ve got a new story to write, and it looks nothing like your past.

2. 6 life lessons from 6 years of blogging on Positively Present.

3. An apparently hungover Jimmy Fallon talks about the ‘epic’ SNL 40 after-party.

4. 34 Stunning Photos That Dispel the “Yoga Body” Myth.

5. You Have a Right to Refuse to be Weighed from Be Nourished.

6. The Source of Contentment on Zen Habits.

7. chinos are my kryptonite from Sas Petherick.

8. Patti Smith on The Biggest Misconception About Her.

9. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert: Own Your Shit and The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself — And All The Women Around You.

10. Be Kind, James Martin describes three simple ways you can be nicer to others this Lent.

11. Aka On Aloha.

12. Good stuff on Elephant Journal: All-Natural Yoga Mat Cleaning Recipe and 14 Creative Ways to Love Ourselves.

13. My favorite quotes on A Design So Vast.

14. My Own Life, Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer.

15. Anne Lamott On The Really Hard Parts of Being Human. She tells the truth and through some sort of magic makes me feel okay about it.

16. Wisdom from an anonymous stranger, “The act of improving lives in the world is in no way inferior to the act of adding lives to the world.” (Thanks for sharing, Andrea).

17. Russian Photographer Captures The Cutest Squirrel Photo Session Ever on Bored Panda.

18. Wisdom from Geneen Roth: On Beauty and The Naked Now.

19. When you’re blue … Find a sliver of light within the darkness from Sherry Richert Belul.

20. Actress has perfect response to body-shaming movie critic.

21. All Good Things on Pugly Pixel.

22. From Pugly Pixel’s Links Loved list: You’re doing a really great job, and TEDxConcordiaUPortland – Cheryl Strayed – Radical Sincerity, and The Elements of HTML.

23. Another New Rape Suit Against Bikram Choudhury Makes It the Sixth, and It Keeps Getting Worse.

24. Premiere: Ingrid Michaelson’s “Time Machine” Video Gets Gloriously Hijacked By Rainn Wilson And Donald Faison.

25. On Getting Older from Lisa Congdon.

26. Buddhism A-Z: Your Basic Buddhist Library.

27. 3-Year-Old Taekwondo Devotee Recites Student Creed, Slays Us With Cuteness.

28. A Body Story from Meg Worden.

29. 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, a page with links to all the posts written for this project.

30. “Oh, Kristen Wiig, why can’t you be in EVERY movie?”

31. CT Scan of 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue Reveals Mummified Monk Hidden Inside.

32. Calm.com

33. bohemian beach vibe on SF Girl by Bay. Why doesn’t my crappy, old, beat up stuff look this good?

34. A common “intuitive eating” pitfall from Isabel Foxen Duke.

35. The trolls inside from Seth Godin.

36. 300 awesome free things: A massive list of free resources you should know. (Thanks for sharing, Jen).

37. Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech on wage equality just won ALL the awards.

Something Good

snowmoon1. Miles for Milo: Run or raise $ for Milo’s spina bifida costs. I’ve met little Milo, and it’s no lie that he’s smiley, kind, warm, and adorable.

2. The Bravery To Be Vulnerable: An experiment in #100DaysofVulnerability on Medium.

3. my study of thriving on Chookooloonks. Be sure to check out the gallery.

4. Wisdom from David Deida, “If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer.” (Thanks for sharing, Lise).

5. In case you missed it the first time I posted, Dear Sugar is back as a podcast.

6. This Man Walks 21 Miles To Work And Back Every Day, And Now Others Want To Lend A Helping Hand.

7. Comedian Tig Notaro on What It Was Like to Perform Stand-Up Topless.

8. Good stuff from Be More With Less: Maybe Variety isn’t the Spice of Life and 7 Things to Consider if You Hate Your Job.

9. The Emotional Milestones of Writing A Novel: A Handy Guide! from Terrible Minds.

10. do you make time for down-time? on the Community Questions column from Mabel Magazine.

11. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, “When we clasp our hands around things, waiting to let go until they make sense, our hands are too full and can not be open to the things that are waiting for us.”

12. A Biggest Loser Contestant Reveals What We All Already Knew on Nourishing the Soul.

13. Proof that kindness matters on Superhero Life.

14. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

We can put our whole heart into whatever we do; but if we freeze our attitude into for or against, we’re setting ourselves up for stress. Instead, we could just go forward with curiosity, wondering where this experiment will lead. This kind of open-ended inquisitiveness captures the spirit of enthusiasm, or heroic perseverance.

15. PRI, #WomensLives … and me! Yay, Kirsten Akens!

16. The Practice of Ruthless Compassion from Sandi Amorim.

17. Loving Your Body Doesn’t Mean What You Think from Kimber Simpkins.

18. The Price I Pay to Write.

19. Wisdom from Geneen Roth.

Compulsive eating is only the symptom; believing that you’re not worth your own love is the problem. Go for the love. You’ll never be sorry.

20. 9 Things You Should Be Able to Say About Your Life from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

21. My house of belonging from Susannah Conway.

22. Mary Oliver — Listening to the World, a rare interview with On Being, the podcast.

23. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, Fierce self-accountability and Self-kindness.

24. Please don’t punish yourself from Danielle LaPorte.

25. Photo Battle: Allison McCann vs. Hilary Parker.

26. You Do Not Have to be Good from Julie Barton.

27. New Adventures New Lessons from Tracey Clark.

28. Why You Hate Work on The New York Times.

29. Self-Soothing, a list on PsychCentral.

30. The Things That Get in the Way of Doing on Zen Habits.

31. My Weird Morning Ritual and Why You Need One Too on Medium.

32. cheers to the weekend: saturday morning scones, a yummy looking recipe on SF Girl by Bay.

33. Podcast: TT 008: Tammy Strobel on Life, Creativity and a Tiny House.

34. black bean butternut squash quesadillas + chipotle lime crema recipe.

35. The Happiest States In America In One Map (INFOGRAPHIC).

36. This makes me so angry, a size 12 model being called “plus-size” is going to be the cover model for the next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She says, “I don’t know if I consider myself as a plus-size model or not,” Lawley, who is represented by Wilhelmina Models, says. “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies.” REALLY?! Explain to me HOW exactly you are trying to help me “accept” my body?!

37. This is What Happens When You Decide To Create Your Own Food Security.

38. A mantra from Rachael Maddox, “My fears melt into nothingness in the presence of perfect love. I am love, you are love, we are love. Everything belongs.”

39. Wisdom from Omar Khayy, “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

40. Fat is Not a Feeling.

41. Stop Eating. Everything is Bad for You.

42. Words for the Day // No. 57 from Lisa Congdon.

43. Wisdom from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “Love mixed with space is called letting go.”

44. Kai and his girlfriend Ellen. So cute.

Day of Rest: Self-Compassion

snowwillows

A truce can be called in your inner war. Peace is possible. Your old habits of self-criticism don’t need to rule you forever. What you need to do is listen to the voice that’s already there, even if a bit hidden — your wise, compassionate self. ~Kristin Neff

The theme for the first week of Feast was self-compassion. If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know this is one of my favorite topics. It started when I went to a new doctor almost two years ago. I’d had crushing, constant fatigue for almost three years and my longtime doctor had tried every test and treatment she could think of, finally suggesting maybe it was time to try a holistic approach, and admitting that was outside her expertise. I found an integrative practitioner who was also certified in internal medicine and made an appointment. After an hour long conversation with this new doctor, one in which I revealed I had an eating disorder, she told me I was obese, tried to put me on a diet that would restrict my calories, not allowing any dairy or gluten or sugar, and recommended I do more cardio. She hadn’t run any sort of tests to rule out an underlying cause and it was clear to me that this was her prescription for every patient, no matter what their issue.

The visit broke my heart a little. I went in with so much hope, and was so honest with her about everything, only to have her offer me the same old story. I was looking for an expert, someone who could fix me, ease my suffering, make me feel better. What she offered was an option I could have found in just about any women’s magazine, in any gym or weight loss program. As a women in this culture, I am constantly bombarded by the message that if I just lost weight, I’d be happy. If I just ate less and moved more, I’d be healthy. If I just got myself into the “normal” range on the BMI chart, I’d be okay.

Even back then, something deep in me knew that was bullshit. The cake is a lie. The afternoon of that appointment, I left for a retreat at Shambhala Meditation Center with Susan Piver. I spent the weekend contemplating my situation, attempting to answer the central question: “how do I heal myself?” With Susan’s support, the magic of the space, the specific practices we did together that weekend, and the community of people in attendance, I came to an answer: self-compassion.

If we think our job here on earth is to fix ourselves, we will keep looking for the broken places. If we believe our job is to be kind, we will keep lavishing love on ourselves. ~Geneen Roth

pinksnowmoon02Self-compassion is the ground of everything. As Rachel says, “Before we can address whatever unrest, misalignment, or longing that has shown up in our life, we must first bring to life a compassionate and loving relationship with ourselves.” If we aren’t already practicing self-compassion, this is where we must start, and where we may find ourselves returning over and over again.

Building a foundation of self-compassion is hard work. I’ve been practicing and studying for almost two years, and I am still such a beginner. I retook Kristen Neff’s self-compassion test again this week, and even though my score had gone up almost a full point, I still fall into the low self-compassion range. One example of how much I’ve changed though is that when I started this process, a result like that would have triggered self-aggression, judgement and criticism. I would have smashed myself to bits for not being better at this, not scoring higher, not evolving faster. Now, I simply notice, work to maintain my curiosity and sense of humor. I might feel disappointed or sad, but I’m not going to make things worse by beating myself up for it.

I did make myself giggle because before I took the test I had to pee, but it was late and I felt like I needed to hurry up and finish, so my first and habitual instinct was to hold it, to wait until I was done with the self-test. Do you see, kind and gentle reader, just how ridiculous that is? I was going to make myself suffer in order to rush my way through a test that would measure my self-compassion. I still have so much to learn. But, as Kristin says,

It does take work to break the self-criticizing habits of a lifetime, but at the end of the day, you are only being asked to relax, allow life to be as it is, and open your heart to yourself.

pinksnowmoonThis same message is repeated over and over again in my Buddhist studies. Pema Chödrön often talks about how meditation practice is simply the act of befriending yourself. She also says,

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.

In a talk given through the Daily Dharma Gathering about “How to Love Yourself,” Lodro Rinzler talked about the same, saying,

It’s okay to actually look at yourself. It’s okay to become familiar with who you are. And who you are is basically good — whole and kind and strong.

Spending the week contemplating self-compassion, the way I practice it, I noticed how much kinder I am to myself, how far I’ve come, the willingness I have to be gentle and kind and patient — to nourish myself. I also noticed the places where I still have work to do. One thing I realized this week that surprised me is how much I still use self-aggression as a way to motivate myself, a way to make sure “shit gets done.” What’s so silly about that is most of the stuff I’m trying to get done involves helping other people, attempting to ease suffering — but in my approach I’m generating suffering, and that math doesn’t work.

For some reason, we are truly convinced that if we criticize ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for a moment, that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love. ~Geneen Roth

May we all be kind to ourselves today. May we rest if we are tired. May we eat if we are hungry, and savor what we eat. May we ask for help if we need it. May we tell someone we love them, even if the person we tell is ourselves. May we open ourselves to joy. May we allow ourselves to take up space. May we be nourished, both cherished and well-fed. May we notice where we are suffering and lavish that hurt with love.

Something Good

1. Bat Dad videos. He makes me laugh.

2. In the presence of perfect love from Rachael Maddox.

3. Comedian Tig Notaro continues to laugh at cancer in new Sundance documentary. I can’t wait to see this, and the article says she’s also working on a memoir.

4. Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome, a new book from my favorite president.

5. Watch: Matthieu Ricard says altruism is the solution, a new TED Talk in which “Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard offers his simple solution to climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality. The problem, he says, is selfishness, and the solution is altruism. It’s a simple — even naïve — idea, but Ricard makes a compelling case that altruism is a real, effective solution.”

6. Cosby: ‘Trust Me.’ How many women need to say this happened to them?

7. Good stuff from Patti Digh: book stack tuesday : the art of asking and balance your power.

8. Good stuff on Medium: Voluntary Mindslaughter: How learning to “Just Sit” can get you through anything, and If Someone Has All Three of These Things, Hire Them, and Wake No More.

9. Plus-size model Tess Holliday busts out of stereotype.

10. Just watch how much the "ideal" body type has changed over 3,000 years.

11. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Why sometimes it’s so difficult to be a person, and The Drama Triangle, and The End of Martyrdom.

12. 18 Hilarious Notes To Robbers.

13. Why People Hate Tess Munster (And Other Happy Fat People), brilliance from The Militant Baker.

14. Good stuff from lists and letters: strong medicine and illness: things i have learned in its shadow, and the morning after, when light breaks through the window blinds.

15. Exploding Kittens is the most backed Kickstarter project ever. He asked for $10,000, and with 17 days remaining, he’s already gotten over 5 million.

16. Interview with Wild Mama Carrie Visintainer from Laura Resau. The writing cabin! *sigh*

19. It’s how the light gets in… from The Bloggess. They break our hearts, but we keep letting them in.

20. Teacher And His Students Recreate ‘Uptown Funk,’ Get An A+ In Breakin’ It Down.

21. Good stuff on Bored Panda: I Take Personal Portraits Of Dogs, Cats And Horses, and I Found This Adorable Puppy In An Abandoned Backyard And Brought Her Home, and Artist Spent One Year In The Woods Creating Surreal Sculptures From Organic Materials.

22. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

The peace that we’re looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.

23. A Calm, Open Walk Through a Dark & Tangled Mess from Laurie Wagner.

24. Cheap easy. Quality easy. And The Myth of Endurance. from Danielle LaPorte.

25. Doubt’s Foot In Logic’s Door: Thoughts On Anti-Vaxxer Attitude from Terrible Minds.

26. Wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut, (thanks for sharing, Anna),

Be soft.
Do not let this world make you hard.
Do not let the pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be
A beautiful place.

27. Wisdom from Joanna Macy, “You don’t need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough.”

28. Reflections on Overwhelm from Lisa Congdon.

29. Alice Gregory on Finding a Uniform, shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

30. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: “How to feel miserable as an artist,” and How to stay alive, and Interview with Unmistakable Creative.

31. Truthbomb #722 from Danielle LaPorte, “Joy is an indicator of deep wellness.”

32. Beautiful natural sculptures made by balancing rocks, shared on Chookooloonks’ This Was a Good Week list.

33. Raise your hand. Say yes. with Laura Simms. Thank you, Tiffany Han for interviewing some of my favorite people. It’s like you’ve created a podcast just for me.

34. 5 Counterintuitive Money Lessons from 2014 from Laura Simms.

35. The OTHER Reason People Binge-Eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

36. 25 Meaningful Things You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less from Be More With Less.

37. A Note from the Universe, “Look to what you’re afraid of, Jill, to learn where you can grow.”

38. Sweetness on Faith Tap: Little Girl Sings Old MacDonald’s Farm and Brother and Sister Sing Hero.

39. Colleen McCullough: we’ll celebrate a woman for anything, as long as it’s not her talent. This makes me sick to my stomach.

40. Is this NASA’s best ever official portrait? Coolest astronaut sneaks his dogs into photo shoot.

41. If My Body Could Speak from Kira Elliott. Take out the part about sugar, and my body could have written this.

42. Good stuff from this week’s Positively Present Picks: The Sketchbook Project and Today is not over yet from Alexandra Franzen.

43. Meditation Physically Changes Your Brain’s Gray Matter for the Better, Study Finds.

44. Anne Lamott on How We Endure and Find Meaning in a Crazy World on Brain Pickings.

45. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook, in which she says,

But Horrible Bonnie would say, Now you get to tell it, because then it will become medicine. Tell it, girl — that we evolve; that life is stunning, wild, gorgeous, weird, brutal, hilarious and full of grace. That our parents were a bit insane, and that healing from this is taking a little bit longer than we had hoped. Tell it.

46. 10 Powerful Ideas that Will Change the Way You Work from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

47. for the love of it on Chookooloonks.

48. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: What are you capable of giving? and Your life is a hot date. Show up.

49. Feed Your Soul from Geneen Roth.

50. On Being podcast, Brené Brown — The Courage to Be Vulnerable.

51. Day Jobs & Creative Entrepreneurship from Jamie Ridler.

52. Beijing life in a shipping container.

53. How I Learned to Love Shopping as a Plus-Size Woman with Mary Lambert.

54. Jimmy Fallon Has A Lip Sync Battle With Will Ferrell & Kevin Hart.

55. Evolution is Exhausting. But You Totally Got This. from Meg Worden.