1. Humans of New York. This project is consistently one of my favorite things. The current series about refugees that Brandon is sharing is amazing, heartbreaking and beautiful. P.S. Any of the Humans of New York books would make great holiday gifts.
6. A Thank You Gift, “a free downloadable PDF containing the process I utilise each year to review how that year has gone and to being the creation process for the next year” from Life is Limitless.
7. Mandy Patinkin visits Lesbos, Greece. “Actor and activist, Mandy Patinkin witnesses first-hand the situation in Greece, where many thousands of refugees have been arriving. Escaping life from war-torn countries, refugees hope to have a better life.” To help: https://engage.rescue.org/donate/mandypatinkin
12. Bun Bun, Destroyer of Leaves! My aunt had a bunny named Willy when I was a kid, and this little bun reminds me so much of him.
13. Wisdom from Arianna Huffington, speaking at the BlogHer conference in July 2014, “We need to change the delusion that we need to burn out in order to succeed. We have a much better understanding of the battery status of our iPhone than the state of our own wellbeing.” Oh, snap!
15. We’re coming for you 2016!, Susannah Conway’s “Unravelling The Year Ahead” workbook (FREE!), which has become a yearly ritual for me. She’s also offering a free 5-day course, Find Your Word for 2016. (P.S. I think my word is going to be “path” but I’m going to do this course just to be sure).
34. She Who Hears the Cries of the World by Christina Feldman, a great article on compassion. “The path of compassion is cultivated one step and one moment at a time. Each of those steps lessens the mountain of sorrow in the world.”
YES, I truly, love and accept my body exactly the way it is — I think it’s cute, I think it’s sexy, and I like the way it looks in my clothes. But that doesn’t mean everyone else thinks so.
The unfortunate reality is that while, I choose not to participate in body-shaming, body manipulating activities (like diets), that doesn’t mean other people aren’t, OR that other people don’t think I should.
No matter how “okay” I am with my body personally, I still have to navigate living in an insanely fat-phobic, thin-privileged, diet-culture world. And that will likely continue to be the case until the day I die (although, God knows I’m doing everything in my power to try and change it).
A big part of doing “body image work” means learning how to handle having different opinions about weight, beauty, and/or “health,” than other people. And that’s something that, unfortunately, doesn’t go away.
At the end of the day, accepting our bodies doesn’t mean that life becomes all rainbows and unicorns — it simply means that instead of making the globally pervasive thin-ideal our problem, we start to see it for what it is: society’s problem.
15. Wisdom from Krishna Das, “Love is what we are; we don’t get it from somebody, we can’t give it to anybody, we can’t fall in it or fall out of it. Love is our true Being.” Also from Krishna Das,
As far as I’m concerned the only thing we need to renounce is our self-hatred and judgement of ourselves, and our sense of unworthiness, and our sense that we are not worthy of love. This is where we should start. If we could just work with that place a little bit the whole quality of our lives would change.
Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It’ll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called “perfection,” which will open the doors to the most important relationships you’ll ever be a part of.
Grief is just so scary. Our grief and rage just terrify us. If we finally begin to cry all those suppressed tears, they will surely wash us away like the Mississippi River. That’s what our parents told us. We got sent to our rooms for having huge feelings. In my family, if you cried or got angry, you didn’t get dinner.
We stuffed scary feelings down, and they made us insane. I think it is pretty universal, all this repression leading to violence and fundamentalism and self-loathing and addiction. All I know is that after 10 years of being sober, with huge support to express my pain and anger and shadow, the grief and tears didn’t wash me away. They gave me my life back! They cleansed me, baptized me, hydrated the earth at my feet. They brought me home, to me, to the truth of me.
24. Wisdom from the Journey of Love deck by Alana Fairchild, (shared by Susannah Conway),
There are many teachers on this path, some humble, some wise, some great companions on your life journey and some who will enter in and out of your life quickly, perhaps imparting a helpful word or teaching you a more challenging lesson about trusting and relying upon your own wisdom. The greatest teacher, however, is Life itself. You can trust your own experiences and know that it is the divine spark within you, the life within you, that is the one true teacher who carries you home in reawakened reunion with the Divine.
25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,
The Buddhist master Shantideva set forth a path for training in spiritual warriorship. In his text The Way of the Bodhisattva, he explains how the bodhisattva or spiritual warrior begins the journey by looking honestly at the current state of his or her mind and emotions. The path of saving others from confusion starts with our willingness to accept ourselves without deception.
You would think that a training whose intention was to prepare us to benefit others would focus exclusively on other people’s needs. But the majority of Shantideva’s instructions entail working skillfully with our own blind spots. Until we do this, we are in the dark about how other people feel and what might soothe them.
Meditation is more than a technology to employ on the path to success or even health. It is a method for communicating with your own brilliance. It is a way to relate with the mystery of your life. Something, everything, is trying to communicate with you. When we use meditation as a means to instruct our reality rather than listen to it, the magic disappears.
i don’t know if this path is for everyone.
i don’t know if it should be.
but if it is for you, i know how incredibly painful it is to pretend otherwise, and how difficult it is to constantly question yourself because you have this pain and this truth pulsing inside you that makes it nearly impossible to blow anything off or to try to be like everyone else.