Tag Archives: Impermanence

Something Good

1. Fall session of ZenPen, “Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth” from my dear friend Courtney Putnam starts September 30th.

2. Finding Freedom and Writing Memoirs with Meg Worden, an interview on BlogCast FM.

3. Funny stuff from Elephant Journal, Sorry about all the poop: The 10 Commandments of Your Dog and Conan O’Brien and Louis CK “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy.” And not so much funny as true, The Truth About Hitting Bottom.

4. An excerpt from The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel.

5. A Bunch Of Young Geniuses Just Made A Corrupt Corporation Freak Out Big Time. Time For Round Two. on Upworthy. Boulder certainly is one of my favorite things about Colorado, for reasons just like this.

6. 36 Surreal Instagram Images From Burning Man. I’m not hip enough to attend, and besides it would be too hot and there would be too many people for me, but I’m so glad that something like it exists.

7. Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? on Tiny Buddha, (and, the answer is “uh, yes!”). Also from Tiny Buddha, 10 Journaling Tips to Help You Heal, Grow and Thrive.

8. Honor the Signs Your Future Self is Sending You and Finding Your Creative Flow: 17 Writer’s Tricks to Get Un-stuck and Start Creating on Scoutie Girl.

9. A few thoughts & actions that will help you open up more and Money: A Love Story. Kate Northrup & I talk debt, cash, freedom. from Danielle LaPorte.

10. This post from 3x3x365, in which Patti Digh describes the very best reason to marry someone.

11. Brene’ Brown interview, Vulnerability and Shame, on How She Really Does It with Koren Motekaitis.

12. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, in her book Comfortable with Uncertainty,

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion; to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance. We cultivate bravery through making aspirations. We make the wish that all beings, including ourselves and those we dislike, be free of suffering and the root of suffering.

13. Wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh, “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

14. Wisdom from Atticus Finch,

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyways and you see through it no matter what.

15. Truth from Gloria Steinem, “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

16. Wisdom from Tara Brach,

When we identify with a small self, we are perceiving ourselves as a cluster of ocean waves, not recognizing that we are made of ocean. When we realize our true self is ocean, the familiar pattern of waves—our fears and defensiveness, our wants and busyness—remains a part of us, but it does not define us.

17. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

When you’re in transition, you walk in two worlds. You walk in the world in front of you, which may seem stark or burdened. Yet you also walk in the world you carry in your heart. You know you are blossoming & the fruit trees hang heavy, the sun shines, & the clients call, & money is not an issue. The life you are feeding is the life that becomes true.

18. 10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People from Fast Company.

19. 10Q, a really fun thing that Rachel Cole shared last week,

Answer one question per day in your own secret online 10Q space. Make your answers serious. Silly. Salacious. However you like. It’s your 10Q. When you’re finished, hit the magic button and your answers get sent to the secure online 10Q vault for safekeeping. One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection.

20. The Magic of Impermanence from Lisa Congdon.

21. Stop Chasing Success. Seek Significance. from Becoming Minimalist.

22. Interview with Jen Smith of LivingLegendary.org from Lisa Bonchek Adams.

23. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, and even more wisdom from Elizabeth.

24. 10 tips for a mindful home from Karen Maezen Miller.

25. Staying Awake from Jeff Oaks.

26. I Found A Blind Baby Sparrow Below My Balcony After A Storm from Bored Panda.

27. {this moment}, a beautiful end of summer image on SouleMama.

28. 8 Good Morning Questions that Create Happiness on Marc and Angel Hack Life.

29. What this internet addict learnt from three weeks offline from Satya on Writing Our Way Home.

30. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “It takes as long as it takes.”

31. My friend Sherry sent me this last week, a poem from Hafiz,

How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all its beauty? It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise, we will remain too frightened.

32. Wisdom from Geneen Roth’s latest newsletter,

…binge eating is not defined by the amount of food you eat but by the way you eat it. Two cookies can be a binge if you eat them with urgency, desperation, and the pressing need for an altered state. Food is a drug of choice, and when you binge, you are using your preferred substance to deny, swallow, or escape your feelings.

33. Whatever Happens Next, a beautiful and heartbreaking story of saying good-bye on Huffington Post from Judy Clement Wall.

34. I want to talk about Body Positivity, OK? from Mary Lambert.

35. Here Come the Good Movies: A dozen films opening before Thanksgiving are more than worth your time and money on Purple Clover.

36. Stop beating yourself up…It’s a WASTE of time! from Kute Blackson. I already shared this yesterday, but I really want to make sure you don’t miss it.

37. The Value of Suffering, an opinion piece by Pico Iyer on The New York Times, also something I already shared, but want to make sure you see it.

38. Shared in this week’s Positively Present Picks list: Custom Pet Stamp on Ebay and Do You Suffer from the “Easy to Buy, Hard to Use” Phenomenon? on Happiness Project.

39. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: It’s OK Not To Want It All from Amy Palko, Amelia the Airstream, a Vacation Home on Wheels on Design Sponge, and A poem a day from Austin Kleon. Bonus: Susannah shared two of my links!

40. Speaking of Susannah, How I Do It: An Interview with Susannah Conway (+ a Giveaway!) on In Spaces Between.

41. Wisdom from Kute Blackson, “Every feeling is a signal, which if you pay attention to will point you in the direction of something that you actually need to deal with, a part of you that needs loving compassion or needs to be released.”

42. 55 Quick Tips to Start Your Self-Care Practice from Anne-Sophie.

Freedom, an Update

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The secret to happiness is freedom. And the secret to freedom is courage. ~Thucydides

Independence Day in the U.S. seems like a good day to check in about how I’m doing with the guiding word I chose for 2013: Freedom. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much has changed in a year. People in my online community are posting about their preparations for World Domination Summit (WDS), which is this weekend. This event is the one year anniversary of Dexter’s first cancer symptoms, a reverse sneeze and bloody nose. I was at WDS and Eric was at “our house” in Waldport with the dogs. He didn’t tell me what had happened because he knew I’d worry, maybe even want to leave the event early.

His first thought was cancer, he could hardly help it after what happened to our Obi, but Dexter wouldn’t be diagnosed for another month, and even then it was “we aren’t 100% sure, but all the symptoms indicate a fatal nasal tumor.” We were told we’d only have 2-3 months with him, but we had almost a whole year, made it within a week of that anniversary.

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My experience of freedom right now is strange, mixed, complicated.
Yes, I am free from Dexter’s cancer (as is he), released from the worry and the anxiety and the caretaking; and yet that freedom also means a direct and powerful relationship with grief, loss, and sadness, which doesn’t exactly feel free. In terms of my disordered eating, I have a kind hearted and experienced therapist to help me work through it, let it go, be free from it, but that’s clearly going to be harder than I thought. I have a list of almost 20 reasons I do what I do, which create a resistance to letting go of the behavior, freeing myself from this way of being.

Another form of freedom I long for is from my paid work, so I can devote myself fully to my heart’s work. One friend, a trained coach, helped me see I’m at a 10 now and that my ideal is a 5, (in terms of what I do, the effort involved), and another helped me to see the easiest and maybe only way for me to get from 10 to 5 would be to give up my paid work. And yet, that’s so difficult, and not an immediate option, so that particular freedom has to wait.

Fear is the cage, love is the key.

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When I described how I wanted to experience freedom, I used words like simplicity, space, ease, surrender, clarity, and openness. Some of this is certainly happening, even around the places I feel stuck.

  • I’m decluttering my work space, creating a place at home that honors what I am truly doing, simple and clear.
  • I’m clear about the next steps in my “escape plan,” what I should be focusing on in my heart’s work. Sometimes this is about having a specific goal and working towards it, and other times it is about surrendering to the process, allowing what shows up, being open to mystery and magic, even mayhem.
  • I socialize less and less, and the things I commit to are what truly feed me, providing inspiration and comfort and joy, move me forward or help me “stay in my seat.”
  • Even thought I’m stuck in some places, I have so much more clarity about why, can see and understand what I’m really doing, what I’m getting out of it, and I forgive myself.
  • Losing Dexter was so hard, but I surrendered to that experience, stayed open and present, still am.
  • My body continues to ask for more rest, and I’m doing my best to provide it, to keep a more gentle pace, to seek out ease.

It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human. ~Pema Chödrön

Day of Rest

I went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday morning right when they opened to get strawberries from Garden Sweet, to be sure I got there before Amy ran out. They are so precious in Colorado, there are so few and the season so short, that we typically don’t waste them in a pie or jam, but rather eat them as they are, four boxes easily gone by the end of the day. We planted a small patch of our own strawberries this year, but they got too hot and didn’t all survive, and even if they did, it would be a few years before we’d produce enough ourselves to come even close to satisfying our hunger.

Strawberries are so much more than a fruit. For me, they embody my childhood, my home, where I came from, The Farm, Oregon, summertime. Growing up in the Willamette Valley, one of the first paid jobs a girl could get besides babysitting was picking strawberries. I don’t remember much about it, other than the early morning bus ride to the field, the wet bushes and muddy rows that would eventually dry out and warm up in the heat of the sun, getting paid by the flat, how at the end of the day you were sore and tired from squatting and bending and kneeling and reaching, crawling up and down the rows, and your fingers were stained with green and dirt and strawberry juice. I was allowed to use the money I earned for just about anything I wanted, and if I remember correctly (which I’ve been accused of not doing), the Sticky Fingers denim painter pants that were my uniform in the 6th grade were paid for with strawberry money.

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I first learned to pick strawberries in a field on my grandparents’ farm, The Farm. When I was only about 5 or 6, my cousin Christie and I would pick the same row, into the same basket, and when we had a certain amount, we were allowed to quit early, to go swimming in the pond or exploring in the woods. Grandpa always let us get away with not picking quite as much as we were supposed to, and with eating almost as much as we picked.

In Oregon in the summer, the most common restaurant dessert options are strawberry shortcake or marionberry cobbler. The closest I can get to marionberries in Colorado are frozen boysenberries (from Oregon) or something called a “Marion Blackberry” which are not marionberries at all. When I was growing up, I took for granted that the abundance of fruit was just what summer was like, anywhere. We had a Royal Anne cherry tree in our backyard, could pick and eat as many as we wanted, and my mom would can what we couldn’t eat fresh — we had so many it was possible to get sick of them. Now, I pay sometimes up to 6-8 dollars a pound, desperate for that remembered sweetness, and they are never as good. My Aunt Karen has so many marionberries that most years she is begging people to come pick them, to help her get rid of them.

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I have newer berry memories too, from our time spend at Waldport, on the Oregon Coast. Mo’s Seafood has the best marionberry cobbler. The first summer we went, when Obi was only five months old, he found a patch of wild ones on our morning walk, picked and ate them all. We are usually there during berry season and there are three different farmer’s markets within driving distance three days a week, the berries are cheap, plentiful, and so delicious, and we are almost never without.

One year ago today, we were arriving at “our house,” beginning a month long stay. Not knowing when I can make the trip again (I’m most likely not leaving Colorado until Dexter is gone), makes me feel a particular kind of homesick. And yet, Eric and I have made a home here. We planted our own strawberry plants this year and yesterday, with some of the berries I got at the farmer’s market, Eric made me a strawberry pie, a dessert that comes from his family, has now become our tradition during berry season. I am content, happy here, in love with our little home and the place we live, and still, even though I am happily home, I am utterly homesick at the same time.

strawberrypie

This is how life is. A strawberry isn’t just a fruit, and yet in order to truly be content with life, we must put all our attention on it when we eat a strawberry, focus only on its essential strawberry nature, let go of the story we have to tell ourselves about it, and in this way we can truly taste it, fully experience its sweetness and its impermanence, as in the story Pema Chödrön shares,

There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.

Today, I am delighting in the preciousness. It seems like a good way to spend the day, to spend a life.

Day of Rest

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Today has not been a restful one for me. Dexter has had a wonky belly for a few days and his nose has been bleeding more than usual. This morning, he refused to eat, wouldn’t even take his favorite treats, so I took him to the emergency vet. They have him now, giving him iv fluids, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medication. I just got back from a short visit with him, checking on the blood work results (high white cell blood count which indicates a bacterial infection), giving him some love, and dropping off his Little D to hang out with him. The vet said if he stays stable, can eat some dinner later and keep it down, we’ll be able to bring him home tonight. This is such good news, and for now we’ll concentrate on that.

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Everyone here is feeling tender.  Even Sam seems a little sad. We know Dexter will be back with us, but the fact that our time together overall is so limited lingers, and makes this time apart difficult. We are all bumping up against what it’s going to be like to be a family of three, and it hurts. And yet, our guiding intention remains that Dexter doesn’t suffer, that his death be easy–even if that means we get his belly feeling better only to need to make a bigger decision because of his nose. The good bad news is that how much we love them is equal to how much we hurt for them, how much we’ll miss them, how sad we are to be separated. It’s like Susan Piver said at our retreat last week, “no matter what, every relationship ends badly.”

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To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
~Mary Oliver

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to believe in?

JamieBelieve

from jamie’s post

I wish to believe in the reality of change, impermanence, no ground or center that will hold, no safe place. I cause myself so much suffering clinging to these ideas, chasing after them.

I wish to believe in this, “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

I wish to believe in my inherent worth, my basic goodness, my fundamental wisdom and compassion and strength. I cause myself so much suffering through self-doubt, lack of confidence.

I wish to believe in the value of rest, of doing nothing, of giving nothing, the possibility of health and wellness.

I wish to believe in the possibility freedom, complete and utter freedom. Simplicity, space, ease, surrender, clarity, openness.

I wish to believe in my intuition, about my mission and my work, to have confidence that what I dream of will manifest, it will all work out, so I can relax into the experience, being in this moment, concentrating on doing one thing at a time, giving it my full attention.

I wish to believe in my value, to stop chasing after something “out there,” external validation and things, stuff and nonsense, and know that everything I need or want, I already have.

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Start Today

There are two chalkboards hanging in the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University. They are based on the work of Candy Chang, a TED Fellow, urban planner, artist and designer. “It is the same concept as Chang’s other walls: a chalkboard with the repeated line Before I die, I want to… Anyone can walk up, grab a piece of chalk and write their hopes and dreams — serious or otherwise,” (Rocky Mountain Collegian).

At this point, the boards are kind of a big mess. People have written over the top of each other, and the boards haven’t been cleaned after being erased and smudged so there is a thick layer of chalk dust, which makes it difficult to read. There’s really no place to write anything new, to add a dream.

Candy’s story about why she created the original board is familiar, she lost someone she loved dearly, and it make her reflective, caused her to contemplate what she wanted out of her life. “Preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.”

Two of the most valuable things we have are time and our relationships with other people. In our age of increasing distractions, it’s more important than ever to find ways to maintain perspective, remember that life is brief and tender.

I have been contemplating this for the past four years, considering what I’m truly hungry for, what I want and what I have to offer, how I can ease suffering in myself and in the world. For me, this inquiry was also inspired by a loss, two actually. That grief, that radical shift in how things are, that direct and brutal encounter with impermanence reframed the way I see everything.

The harder part for me has been what do I DO now? I have worked hard to repair my relationship with myself, which was abusive and damaged, to love and care for myself so I can do good work from a place of sanity and strength. I have altered how I spend my time, who I spend it with. I have fully committed to practices that help me along my path. And yet, something still isn’t right.

The way I’ve lived and worked for so long clearly wasn’t working–allowing overwhelm, people pleasing, attempting perfection, denying and avoiding reality, smashing myself to bits, thinking I had to earn permission to do what I loved, that I had to prove that I was worthy of love. And yet, when I began to focus on my heart’s work, I found that I had brought some of those same habits, those ways of being along with me.

Recently I’ve been considering what I really want, how I want to feel, what I want my experience to be like. I’m aware that while I want to be connected, to help and be involved, to be accessible, I want a small, simple, quiet life. I have ambitions, but my deepest longing is for freedom, stillness, space, ease, clarity, surrender. I want to live deep in my heart, while keeping it open to the world.

Yesterday, I watched this interview with Susan Piver, part of the Tea Talks series with Jesse Jacobs, founder of Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco.

As she always does, Susan said some things that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about, that make so much sense, that are so applicable to the shift I am making. At one point in the interview (around 26 minutes), Jesse asks Susan if she has any advice for people who want to do what they love, strike out on their own, and she replies:

“Start today.”

“How?”

“By doing one small thing, whatever it is… It has to be an action, not something you think about, and not trying to change yourself, not trying to become different, not thinking ‘positive thoughts’ or attracting things–none of that. Just do something.”

One small thing. That’s it. Just start. Stop thinking about it, stop wishing for it and start. Embody your intention, follow your instincts. Susan explains a bit later in the interview that the most important thing she learned from her days driving a cab, being Chapter Leader of the Boston Guardian Angels at only 19 (seriously people, she’s a rock star, superhero), was to “Trust your instincts.” She explains how you do so this way:

You can’t learn to uncover your instincts and then act on them. It’s through actions that you uncover your instincts, so it’s going towards what attracts you, starting to work with it and see what happens. And then following that impulse, and that impulse, and that impulse.

I hear this, have found this to be true. This is how it’s been for me. There hasn’t been a clear master plan, a practical or even rational series of steps, no program or method I could follow entirely. I simply had to show up with an open heart and allow what happened, surrender to my longing. And that can be incredibly frustrating. So many times I beg, bargain with the Universe, “I just want to know where this is headed, what’s going to happen, how this will turn out, if I’m doing the right thing.” Instead, I end up having to trust in things I can’t see, believe in things I can’t know for sure or prove, be patient and curious, present.

Near the very end of the interview, Susan shares the most important thing.

The only advice I could possibly give would be please relax, please relax, and observe the world around you, observe your own impulses, and soon you will start to observe how those things are constantly colliding and intersecting, and they will instruct you on how to build your life… if you are attracted to a more adventurous life, a more creative life, you have to slow down.

I have found it to be true, at least for me, that even when you are moving too fast and making too much noise to hear the message the Universe is trying to send you, it will find you, it will find a way in. For me, it’s often something I encounter online, in the thick of complete distraction and overwhelm a space opens up, a clear voice speaks, and I am touched. First it was Candy’s chalkboard. Yesterday, it was Susan Piver. This morning it was Christina Rosalie, one of my favorite writers, bloggers, artists.

Recently Christina’s been blogging about productivity, the creative process and doing less, and it’s been exactly what I’ve needed to hear. In her post today, How to Find Your True Velocity: Do Less to Achieve More, she said, “Yet we also know somewhere in our heart of hearts, that doing more isn’t the answer. Doing less is.” As I told her, when I read this, it touched a place so tender, my hand flew to my mouth to trap the sob, tears stung my eyes. I read it over and over, “we know somewhere in our heart of hearts,” letting it sink in, sinking into that deep knowing that is already there, waiting to be heard.

In a response to my comment, Christina said “I’ve heard you mentioning this longing, this desire for a smaller, simple life Jill. What would that look like, tangibly? What needs to shift?” So today, my one small thing is to answer that question, to consider what I want to do, how I want to be, to make one small shift, and to “remember that life is brief and tender.”

P.S. My answer to Christina’s questions:

Say no when I mean no.
Don’t apologize for or be afraid of who I am.
Slow down.
Be present.
Show up and keep my heart open, allowing what is, surrendering to reality.
Do one small thing at a time, giving it my full attention.
Let go of needing external validation or permission.
Instead of “please love me,” “I love you.”
Deep breaths.
Quiet, space, clarity.
A tender heart.
Let go of my agenda, judgment, control.
Invite ease, eat whole food, get lots of rest.

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.