Tag Archives: Pema Chödrön

Something Good

1. I am still processing this: Report alleges sexual misconduct by leader of Shambhala community and Shambhala Head Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Accused of Sexual Abuse in New Report. I read the report and I absolutely believe the women, and feel certain there are many more who have not spoken out but who were similarly harmed. I also read Sakyong Mipham’s “apology” letter and think it’s problematic af, not an apology at all. I am confused, outraged, shocked, and heartbroken. This is my Buddhist practice lineage, and I’m not sure how to react, so for now I’m just sitting with it, holding compassion and confusion and rage and grief in my heart simultaneously. A few other teachers have made posts, videos, and statements. For example On Shambhala from Susan Piver, Reflections on Shambhala from Ethan Nichtern, and Offering support to the Shambhala community from Lama Rob Owens (video). Lodro Rinzler posted on Facebook, “I am feeling a lot of pain around what is happening in the Shambhala community. I personally have clarity that it is time for me to officially exit Shambhala as an organization and no longer teach there. The Shambhala teachings are separate from the organization, invaluable, and will always be a part of me.”

2. In Nigeria, an 11-year-old artist is creating waves with his unique creations. (video)

3. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren visits a detention center. (video) “I went down to the border protection processing center in McAllen, Texas so I could see what’s happening there with my own eyes. They wouldn’t let cameras inside, but I can tell you what I saw.”

4. More racist nonsense: A family called the cops on this 12-year-old boy after he accidentally mowed part of their lawn (video), and Two first-hand accounts of the horror at the heart of Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy of separating children from their parents at the US border (video), and After 40 Days Apart and a Missed Flight, a Migrant Family Reunites on The New York Times, and These parents were separated from their children and detained by US border patrol agents, who suspected them of trying to enter the country illegally (video), and Immigration Lawyer Broke Her Foot When ICE Officer Pushed Her on The New York Times, and Officer In Antwon Rose Shooting Charged With Homicide, and Protests continue against the largest immigration detention center in the US located in McAllen, TX (video), and Trump Aims to Dismantle Protections for Immigrant Kids and Radically Expand the Family Detention System, and Businesses divest from Alison Ettel’s marijuana company, TreatWell, after viral 911 video, and Watch a mother and son reunite after being forcibly separated for over a month (video).

5. She raised her hand to help, and it made a beautiful difference in one man’s journey. (video)

6. Annapolis shooting suspect “wanted to get revenge,” lawyer for harassed woman says. Explain again why we need a wall to keep the bad people out when they are already here, white, male, and legal?!

7. Best highlights from #WhatTheFluff challenge part 2. (video)

8. Trans Woman Kicked Out Of D.C. Restaurant For Refusing To Show ID Before Using The Bathroom.

9. This minor league mascot recreated ‘Dirty Dancing’ — and it was spectacular. (video)

10. Cats are in a world of their own! (video)

11. Rep. Maxine Waters Goes On Live TV And Reads Actual Quotes Of Trump Inciting Violence.

12. San Diego’s ‘Aunt Debbie’ overwhelmed by donations.

13. A top House Democrat lost his primary — to a socialist.

14. Stop Condemning My Bitterness, Start Condemning The System.

15. Supreme Court finally condemns 1944 decision that allowed Japanese internment during World War II.

16. ‘This is not the land of the free.’ (video) “This imam experienced things at U.S. detention centers that he never even encountered at Syrian refugee camps.”

17. 20+ Hilarious Dog Snapchats That Are Impawsible Not To Laugh At.

18. 10 Reasons Why Coming to America Is the Best Black Movie of All Time.

19. Marriage Equality Museum Will Defiantly Stand Against Hate. (video) “Three years after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, this man wants to transform his brightly-colored Equality House into the first-ever marriage equality museum. The building sits right across the street from the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church, making the museum a powerful symbol in the face of hate.”

20. 30 Ways White People Say ‘Black People’ Without Actually Saying ‘Black People.’

21. The past 72 hours in Sarah Sanders’s dinner and the civility debate, explained.

22. Stop Tone Policing My Outrage at This Presidency.

23. An Arizona woman needed a drug to induce a miscarriage. Her pharmacist refused.

24. I’m Reading 50 Books by Women of Color This Year—Here Are Some More of My Favorites.

25. 7 Myths about Cultural Appropriation DEBUNKED! (video)

26. I’m Not Political (Because I Assume I Will Retain All of My Privileges Forever).

27. ‘People Of Light’: New Campaign Seeks To Redefine What It Means To Be ‘White.’ I can’t even. You’d think this was an article from The Onion, but it’s not.

28. The Hate U Give movie trailer.

29. CDC lists oil of lemon eucalyptus as comparable to DEET for mosquitoes. I’ve used this for the past couple of years and have to agree with the findings. Plus, it smells delightful. Oh, and it’s not POISON.

30. Yoga For Stress Management from Yoga with Adriene.

31. In final episode of “Parts Unknown,” Anthony Bourdain discusses death and Buddhism in Bhutan.

Day of Rest

I taught a yoga class this morning. Towards the end of savasana, the song that was playing came to a crescendo just as an ambulance drove past with its siren blaring. The contrast between those two external demands, the beauty of the music asking to be noticed and the siren needing people to pay attention, was a reminder that life is both beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible, and that no matter what arises, as practitioners we work to keep our hearts open, to stay with it, to try and work with it with wisdom and compassion.

It reminded me of the quote from Pema Chödrön, the one about tigers above and tigers below.

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. ~Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World

This is a good reminder. When the chaos of life seems unmanageable, when so many are suffering and there’s so much confusion, there is also this, “delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”

This absolutely doesn’t mean, “stay positive.” It doesn’t mean we deny the tigers above and below. It doesn’t mean taking no action either, because if you notice the story starts with the woman running from the tigers until she can’t run anymore. Instead, we make space for it all.

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ~Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart

Day of Rest

On a very basic level all beings think that they should be happy. When life becomes difficult or painful, we feel that something has gone wrong. This wouldn’t be a big problem except for the fact that when we feel something’s gone wrong, we’re willing to do anything to feel OK again. Even start a fight.

According to the Buddhist teachings, difficulty is inevitable in human life. For one thing, we cannot escape the reality of death. But there are also the realities of aging, of illness, of not getting what we want, and of getting what we don’t want. These kinds of difficulties are facts of life. Even if you were the Buddha himself, if you were a fully enlightened person, you would experience death, illness, aging, and sorrow at losing what you love. All of these things would happen to you. If you got burned or cut, it would hurt.

But the Buddhist teachings also say that this is not really what causes us misery in our lives. What causes misery is always trying to get away from the facts of life, always trying to avoid pain and seek happiness—this sense of ours that there could be lasting security and happiness available to us if we could only do the right thing.

~Pema Chödrön, excerpt from her book Practicing Peace in Times of War

Something Good


1. ‘Samurai Gourmet’ explores the art of the meal, a quirky little show Eric found on Netflix that I am now so in love with. #retirementgoals

2. Celebrate Poetry Month: 28 Breathtaking Poetry Books to Read Now. #NationalPoetryMonth

3. A guided reflection on bringing RAIN to difficulty, “Tara Brach discusses RAIN, a technique she frequently teaches to her students and also uses in her own life.”

4. Good stuff from Rachel Cole: What feeds me? and Feast: Your Self-Guided Journey toBecoming a Well-fed Woman — I did the group intensive version of this program, and it is life changing, worth every penny; this self-guided version gives the option of doing the program independently and self-paced for fewer pennies.

5. maybe just look from Karen Walrond on Chookooloonks.

I can’t help but notice that as time passes (and political leaders change, and cities get bombed, and police are needlessly violent, and civilians get hurt…), I find myself more and more cynical about everything going on around me. That cynicism, actually, is part of the reason that I continue to blog: taking photographs is how I keep myself from spiraling into terminal crankiness; I share them in the hope that it might help others to keep from doing the same.

6. Wisdom Susannah Conway’s latest Love Letter,

The other day somebody asked me why I do what I do — what’s the point of all this? And my short in-the-moment answer was that I teach people tools to help them to trust, know and express themselves better. Because here’s the thing: to be able to have any kind of impact in this world, on a micro or macro scale, we must first heal our own hurts, learn how to take impeccable care of our selves and live life as consciously as possible. We need a working vocabulary for our wants and needs, our feelings and fears, our shadows and our light. We need to be able to treat our selves with kindness and compassion so we know how to extend that to another. And as corny as it sounds, if we can be our own best friend — owning our flaws and faults as well as our strengths and brilliance — we stand a better chance of not polluting the world (or anyone in it) with our messes.

7. Journal prompts on Pinterest. And if that’s not enough, here’s a great post from Alexandra Franzen with tons of good ideas, Not sure what to write about?

8. It’s White America’s Job To Fight White Supremacism. This is a good article, but it seems to want to limit “white supremacism” to its extreme and violent manifestation, rather than recognize that it also exists in ways that seem very polite, institutionalized, and “normal.”

9. Fat in the era of Trump. “The resistance can’t just be limited to the protests we attend or the elected officials’ offices we call (all of which we must keep doing). We need to make a serious effort to love ourselves in spite of the deafening messages that we aren’t worthy of such a luxury.”

10. Meet The ‘Cucamelon,’ The Cutest Fruit You’ll Ever See. Seriously.

11. Minus18 on YouTube, “Australia’s largest youth-led organisation for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people. This channel is run entirely by youth, aged 14-21, all the filming, editing and content is produced solely by us!” They have some really great content, including their Trans 101 series.

12. There Is No Perfect Life from Jena Schwartz. I know it might seem strange, but this is the sort of thing that cheers me right up. Don’t give me positive thinking, give me this every time — tell me the truth but then remind me it’s okay. It’s like that quote from Pema Chödrön, “None of us is ever OK, but we all get through everything just fine.”

13. The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week.

14. 9 Bad Manager Mistakes That Make Good People Quit. I have a good boss, but I am face down in #1 on this list right now.

15. 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an Introvert. You know, if there were still any question.

16. Why eating vegetarian may not be the most ethical diet.

17. Stop The Slaughterhouse on CSU’s Campus. First a football stadium, now this…

18. Weed Chef // 60 Second Docs.

19. Indonesia’s horse library. Like a bookmobile, only this one poops.

20. Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer returns to SNL, dressed as the Easter Bunny, to explain Passover.

Something Good

 

1. Why the Women’s March made me think about racism. “And why fighting racism has to be at the heart of any women’s movement in 2017.” This, this, everything about this: “I’m convinced that whether your passion is education, preventing climate change, ending poverty, stopping war and genocide, or sexual violence — racism is at the heart of the challenge you are tackling.”

2. Almost no one from Seth Godin.

3. Art is a powerful tool for change from Paul Jarvis.

4. Trevor Noah: What’s the “Middle” Between White Supremacy and Equality for All? from Son of Baldwin. “When one side wishes to traffic in bigotry, superiority, and the right to rule over and dehumanize others, and the other side merely wishes to live in equity and with basic human dignity, it does the truth, and reconciliation, a great disservice to pretend that these are merely differences in opinions and perspectives holding equally moral weight and validity.”

5. She Will Not Be Quiet, a book of poetry by Julia Fehrenbacher.

6. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “Be fully present. Feel your heart. And engage the next moment without an agenda.”

7. To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation. “Over eight years, through millions of letters, the staff of the White House mailroom read the unfiltered story of a nation.”

8. Body Sovereignty from Rachel Cole. “Through small everyday acts of submission many women give up the power they have as the leader, decision-maker, advocate, and ally for their body. What I want you to know is that your body is yours despite all the forces conspiring from the day you were born to teach, tell, and treat you otherwise.”

9. How America fails people of color with eating disorders.

10. This Professor’s Tweets After No One Showed Up To His Class Are Going Viral.

11. What I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Zen Habits.

12. No One’s Coming to Save Us, So We Have to Save Each Other from Chuck Wendig.

13. We the People: public art for the inauguration and beyond. “Download free art, donate to the campaign, and learn how else you can get involved.” In related news, Please Keep Your American Flags Off My Hijab.

14. 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul.

15. What Ben Carson doesn’t understand about “extra rights”: LGBT people aren’t asking for special privileges, just basic equality.

16. 10 Actions for the first 100 Days.

17. I saw Fun Home the Musical yesterday. It’s my favorite musical e v e r, based on one of my favorite graphic novels, by one of my favorite cartoonists, seen with some of my favorite people.

18. Eula Biss: Let’s Talk About Whiteness from OnBeing. I haven’t listened to this yet, but have heard it’s definitely worth a listen.

19. A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support. In related news, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

20. “Donald Trump Strikes Nationalistic Tone in Inaugural Speech.” We shouldn’t be surprised, as it was written by white supremacists: “Much of the speech was written by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, two of Mr. Trump’s top advisers, a White House official said.”

21. Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston.

22. What do Trump’s cabinet picks have in common? A history of misogyny. In related news, Donald Trump has assembled the worst Cabinet in American history.

23. The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week.

24. Broad City, Inauguration. This actually made me laugh, on a day when I wouldn’t have expected it.

25. Don’t Be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks. In related news, Do’s and Don’ts for Bystander Intervention.

26. This Adorable Dog Is Trying to Do A Cart Wheel! I love this video so much.

27. Let the Record Show from John Pavlovitz. “History has been littered with horrible people who did terrible things with power, because too many good people remained silent. And since my fear is that we are surely entering one of those periods in our story, I wanted to make sure that I was recorded for posterity.”

28. Two Dogs Protect Tiny Penguins From Being Killed.

29. North Dakota Bill Would Protect Drivers Who ‘Accidentally’ Hit And Kill Protesters. NO!

30. Wild Writing Teacher Training. This is going to be so good!

31. ‘The saddest, slowest, most acoustic’ record: Aimee Mann announces a new album. *swoon* (I get to go see her when she comes to Boulder!)

32. Black Lives Webinar Series. “The Movement for Black Lives will be hosting a six month educational webinar series based on the different demands in the platform. Each month, starting in February, they will be elevating a different category of the platform, and hosting a webinar about that topic. They will also be updating their website with new policy and organizing resources from across the country. They kick off the webinar series on Wednesday, February 8th at 7pm(est) with a conversation about Political Power. If you have resources relating to the platform that you would like to share please email: m4blpolicytable@gmail.com with the word “Resources” in the title of the email. Register for the first webinar here: http://bit.ly/V4BLWeb1

33. How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind, “Self-Care Lessons for the Resistance.”

34. The Racket of Racism, a really important video.

35. 10 Acts of Resistance on Inauguration Day and Beyond.

36. Donald Glover covering TAMIA’s “I’m So Into You.”

37. The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility.

38. Submit your EIS comment to the Army Corps.

On January 18th, the Department of the Army published the Notice of Intent to require an Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register. This is another small victory in defeating the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

The fight, however, is still not over.

This notice opens the public scoping phase and invites anyone interested to help them to identify potential issues, concerns, and reasonable alternatives that should be considered in an EIS.

While the EIS is exactly what we called for, we must ensure that it fully takes into consideration tribal treaty rights, natural resources, cultural and sacred places, socio-economical concerns, environmental justice, and the health and wellbeing of those downstream who rely on our drinking water.

We need your continued support as this process moves forward.

The Department of the Army’s Civil Works division will be accepting public comment until February 20th, 2017.

39. Here’s the Full Transcript Of Angela Davis’s Women’s March Speech.

Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.

The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.

40. When all else fails, find a dog.

View this post on Instagram

#dogs

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Three (un)Truths and One Wish (a few days late)

eveninglight

1. (un)Truth: “Anxiety and depression are tied to the future and past, so if you stay in the present, you won’t be anxious or depressed. If you stay grounded in this moment, mindful and fully present, you are okay. Nothing’s wrong.” This is true… almost. What a statement like this misses is that anxiety, grief, sadness, depression, and traumas of various other kinds live in the body, and thus are experiences that can live in the present moment. Anxiety and depression can be very real and it’s unkind, unwise to dismiss their existence with the assertion that if you could just be more mindful and present, you’d be fine.

2. (un)Truth: “How you live your life is far more significant to your health and happiness than what you do. Rest, relaxation, meditation, nutrition, exercise, laughter, play, family, friends and spirituality can be woven into our lifestyles regardless of the work we do.” Someone posted this last week on Facebook, having heard it in a stress management class she’d attended. While I agree that all those “other things” are important, the work we do has an equal impact on health and happiness, and can sometimes eclipse those other things. This is one of those “truisms” that shifts blame to individual choices (“if you are stressed out, it’s your own fault because you aren’t doing enough of the other stuff to take care of yourself”), ignoring the impact of our work — the environment, the people we interact with there, the tasks we perform, and the responsibility we are given. If it’s the wrong fit or even toxic or just somehow too much, the consequences can be quite nasty. And, I have found it to be true in my own experience that some work makes it really difficult to maintain the energy or time to put towards all those other wonderful things. I feel lucky some weeks to have clean underwear and food to eat. Truisms like this tend to just make me feel like crap about myself, like I’m doing it wrong, even though intellectually I know that’s not the case, that it isn’t anywhere near that simple.

3. (un)Truth: “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.” Prince Ea, who I really like, posted this on his Facebook page the other day. Again, just like the other two untruths in this list I feel like it glosses over something essential. The most problematic part is the “no matter how you feel.” In an effort to encourage people to not give up, it suggests that they deny how they feel, push it aside, dress it up and keep going. I get that you don’t want to feed the wrong wolf, but to not allow how you feel some agency, some authority is not right either. There are valid reasons for sadness, fear, anger, and to deny them and just act as if everything is okay doesn’t seem like the best approach. “The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy,” Pema Chödrön.

One wish: May we recognize truth when we hear it, know love when we feel it, be grounded in our own wisdom and power, remain gentle with ourselves, and never give up.

 

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.”