Tag Archives: Purpose

Day of Rest

bedThis is something I originally posted on Facebook this morning, but just now realized I wanted to share it here too, that there would be some of you who wouldn’t see my Facebook post.

Woke up at 4:30 am like normal, but decided to go back to sleep, and you know how you have the weirdest dreams when you do that? I had one that I was teaching at Chemeketa Community College, a class about Finding Your Purpose, and I showed up for week three completely unprepared. We were in the Student Center, and it was busy and noisy — a spin class, the food court, all kinds of other classes and study groups and students just hanging out — and there was no privacy. I also realized that rather than a 10 week progressive course with the same group of students, the class was actually a drop in, which meant I should be doing what I did the first week over again, but I didn’t have those notes. I asked my students to put their chairs in a circle to provide a container of sorts, but I had to go find my own chair. All of the furniture was old and broken down, no good, so the chair I had to settle for was awful.

When I got back to the group, I was honest, told them I was struggling with the distraction, my own lack of preparation, was irritated and fumbling, but that I was doing my best and would keep going, was showing up, fully present. Then it came to me that it was the perfect teaching moment, and told them that it was just like that with Finding Your Purpose — it isn’t just about figuring out what you want, but dealing with the obstacles that exist, that you can’t control all the elements, there’s the environment, culture, other people, economic realities, potential health issues or physical limitations, and that you have to learn to work with them. I ended up rocking what was a messed up situation.

Take that subconscious — clearly if you want to give me an anxiety dream, teaching can no longer be your subject matter. Time to go back to the old standards of not being able to find a clean or private public bathroom when I need to poop, or the one where I’m out jogging and cars are honking at me and I look down and realize I’m completely naked and miles from home.

Something Good

Sundancer, by Mark Wagner. Box it sits on was made by his dad and painted by his mom.

Sundancer, by Mark Wagner — box it sits on was made by his dad and painted by his mom.

1. The above painting by Mark Wagner, an amazing artist and a good man. I sat across from this painting when I was at 27 Powers on retreat a few weeks ago, having fallen immediately in love with her.

2. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert, In Defense of Loneliness and Quote of the Day.

3. Our first date was the last day of his life, a tragic and beautiful piece.

4. Kindness Matters on Kind Over Matter. It’s this sort of thing that makes me say one of my practices is dog, and I would hope if I were in the same situation, I could find my way to the same choice.

5. How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps on Huffington Post.

6. How to Let Your Purpose Find You on Harvard Business Review. I’m sharing this because step one is, “Be uncool enough to love.”

???????????????????????????????7. 10 Things to Really Like About Getting Older on Purple Clover.

8. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Type and Stress Heads. I’m an INFJ.

9. Sorry: “working on a novel” is not a business model. A loving reality check — and 26 ways to actually make a living as a wordsmith. from Alexandra Franzen.

10. Audit Yourself to Improve Your Circumstances from Chris Guillebeau.

11. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Ways to Live to be 100, and 72 Uses For Simple Household Products To Save Money & Avoid Toxins, and A 5-Year-Old Called Me Fat And Changed My Perspective, and Change Your Life in 2 Seconds.

12. Tonight You Belong to Me (Cover) – Me and my 4 y.o., the sweetest video. May we all have someone who will give us a song to sing when we are scared or worried, even when what we are afraid of isn’t real — especially then.

13. Melissa Carroll’s Technicolor Dream on Narrative.ly.

14. Jimmy Fallon making me smile: Jimmy Fallon’s Latest Lip Sync-Off Was Actually Epic and “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake.

15. From Justine Musk‘s newsletter:

I believe in that place where, as Frederick Buechner once put it, “your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” It’s our quest as individuals to find it: acquiring wisdom along the way, overcoming obstacles (a.k.a “character-building experiences”), letting go of the stuff that no longer serves us so we can evolve into the artists that we need to be and grow a life that feels truly ours.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, a VC, a stay-at-home mom, a yoga teacher, an accountant, an online entrepreneur, a student…or just a seeker of meaning and mystery.

The goal is the same: to live deep, and die empty, as my friend Todd Henry likes to say. Don’t go to your grave with your soul’s work still inside you.

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16. For the Love of Podcasts, a really great list on Scoutie Girl. Also from Scoutie Girl, The Body, Mind, and Space of Self-Care for Creatives — Part 2: The Mind.

17. A Weightless Year from Rachel Cole.

18. Daily Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “You don’t have to believe in that.”

19. Wisdom from Finn Butler, shared by Laura Simms in her Create as Folk newsletter,

Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water. And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply, and the night sky is no home, and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent, but nothing is infinite, not even loss. You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day you are going to find yourself again.

20. Emerging Women Livestream 2013, A FREE, Four-day Video Event to Empower Women Around the World. Some of my favorite women are going to be speaking.

21. Writing as Dog. Word.

purplepetalalley-e137942051019322. One cute thing, Cute Corgi puppy excited to play with new toy (VIDEO), and one sad thing, Emotional farewell between loving man and his first dog, (Gracie had the same kind of cancer Dexter did), from Dog Heirs, one of my new favorite websites.

23. KID PRESIDENT CHALLENGE: Spread Joy!

24. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

Some people consider the practice of love and compassion is only related to religious practice and if they are not interested in religion they neglect these inner values. But love and compassion are qualities that human beings require just to live together.

25. attention: emotional amoebas – find your edges from Sas Petherick.

26. your daily rock : go directly to the source.

27. Have I told you lately how much I adore Mary Oliver? Here’s another reason why, from Parker Palmer: “A couple of years ago, I was lucky to hear Mary Oliver read her poetry. After the reading, someone in the audience asked her, ‘What is the purpose of beauty?’ Her simple but remarkable answer was, ‘We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it.'”

28. 20 Images That Prove Kids Are Weird from Pleated Jeans.

29. Shared by Tammy in her Happy Links list on Rowdy Kittens: Worthy on The Minimalists, and Ebb and Flow from Courtney Carver, and Overcoming Writer’s Block on Medium.

30. Good stuff from Tiny Buddha, Where True Happiness Comes From: How We Gain by Having Less and 6 Tips to Release Anxiety to Feel Calm and Free.

Something Good

1. This American Life 500th Anniversary, an interview with Ira Glass on Slate.

2. Broken by Ria on Hopeful World.

3. Nature and nurture (professional edition) from Seth Godin.

4. We’ve Been Robbed from Rachel Cole.

5. This wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert,

Because here’s the thing — we are really slow, as a species, to catching on sometimes that the past is past. And since there is no sense of time in the human subconscious, there is part of us that doesn’t always know, when it comes to certain dark traumas: IT’S FINISHED. Sometimes you have to talk to yourself about that fact (gently, lovingly) and explain to yourself the reality of the timeline. Did it already happen to you? Yes. Did you already survive it? Yes. Then try to let yourself go forth in peace. It’s over. It sometimes takes so much convincing for us to believe this, but whatever you’re most afraid of…? Chances are, it’s over.

6. Dustin Hoffman Breaks Down Crying Explaining Something That Every Woman Sadly Already Experienced on Upworthy.

7. Join the circus without having to run away, Rachael Maddox & the Traveling Soul Circus. Read about it, or help fund it.

8. Summer Sabbatical Update #1 from Courtney Putnam.

9. Soul Sister Special from Liv Lane, good until midnight tonight, Central Time.

10. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

The process is the goal. And this is always true. Otherwise, you get to where you believe the goal is, and you raise the proverbial bar. You make another goal. And then, you push to get to that one, that goal. And make another one. And in the meantime, you keep missing what you call your life. And then you wonder how it all went by so fast and where you were while it was happening. That’s how people get to the end of their lives and suddenly realize, they missed the gifts. The small moments. The ordinary moments, on the way to the Big Get. The Goal.

This moment, right now, is It.

11. on negative chatter and being brave from Jessica Swift.

12. red winkle picker regret and the dark side of decluttering from Lianne Raymond.

13. The ability to course correct and Waking up on A Design So Vast.

14. I Are Cute Duckling AWW

15. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: Enlightenment in the Age of Disruption, an episode of Good Life Project.

16. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup, “The practice of mindfulness should not result in stress. If it does, it may be a sign that we are trying too hard—that we are grasping at ‘mindfulness’ itself, that we need to relax a little and be less self-conscious.”

17. From Your Inner Pilot Light,

Do you wonder what it would feel like to be healed, my love? Let me tell you, because as the part of you who is always whole, healed, and perfect at every moment, I’m on it. When you’re healed, you wake up every morning and feel free. Free of the grip of fear. Free of caring what everybody else thinks. Free of feeling like you have anything to prove. Free of worrying that you’re not enough. Free of self-beatings. Free of muddy confusion. Free to be unapologetically YOU. Free. You feel very alive, which doesn’t mean you don’t cry or feel sadness. When you’re healed, you may cry more than ever, actually. But those feelings come, flood you, and release, rather than getting stuck. You know you’re NOT alone. When you’re healed, you feel deeply connected- to me and my glorious spark, that is. You know that everything is happening in perfect harmony with a greater plan. So you feel free of anxiety, because you know you are held and safe and the world is conspiring to help you walk your path with ease. It’s that simple. Do you want to feel healed? Tap in, love.

18. Head/Heart/Feet on Painted Path, where Julia shares about a really great documentary project her brother-in-law is putting together, funding through Kickstarter.

19. Zoe Saldana on The Conversation.

20. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : slow down, your daily rock : love evaporates fear, and your daily rock : let go.

21. An Artist Takes Bits And Pieces Of Hate And Turns Them Into Something Beautiful on Upworthy. We got a nasty note on our car and even though Eric told me I should just throw it away, I kept it because I wanted to make an art journal page with it, wanted to convert the ugliness of it into something beautiful, something that would help me generate compassion, that would cultivate healing for both me and the author. That’s what this artist did, and I love it. Let’s do more of this.

22. Easy Caramel Apple Recipe. This should come with some kind of a warning, I think, something like this — Danger: extreme yumminess ahead, eat with caution.

23. I am trying to remain calm about this, but you can now pre-order Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened.

24. How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love on Brain Pickings.

25. 20 Ways to Get Good Karma by The Dalai Lama.

26. Adopted dog treks 10 miles in freezing cold back to shelter to be with his beloved mate. You don’t need to tell me that dogs love big, that loyalty is one of their strongest characteristics. *sob*

27. 10 (Healthy) Ways to Lose Weight (& Feel your Best) on Elephant Journal.

28. This wisdom, poetry from Galway Kinnell,

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing…

29. And this wisdom from Louise Erdrich, which I like to revisit from time to time,

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.

30. “It’s not about being tough. It’s about being tender,” guest series on Jamie Ridler’s blog. Jamie’s mom passed away the day after my sweet Dexter, and when it became clear she would need to take some time off from creating content for her blog, she asked some people to write blog posts based on a theme, something her mother had said, “It’s not about being tough. It’s about being tender.” There have been some really great posts so far. Jamie asked me to write one, and it will be up on Wednesday, July 17th. I was so happy to support her, to have the opportunity to do something, anything for her as she lived this difficult transition, this loss. It is becoming more and more clear to me that the only way any of us make it through the confusion and chaos of being human is together, helping each other, showing up, offering support, being kind, “walking each other home.”

Step by Little Step

Dex's snow feet

Service is your heart’s desire made visible. Service is the act of sharing what you most care about for the greater good. It requires no special goodness, thankfully. After our basic needs are met, we all yearn to make a difference and service springs from listening to that yearning – and taking action on it, step by little step. ~Jennifer Louden, The Week of Inward Looking

My most intense longing, my deepest hunger, my heart’s desire is to ease suffering, in myself and in the world. As I have been retreating and reverbing and unravelling and reflecting and contemplating and practicing this past month (year?), it has become clear to me that the “basic need” I still must meet is the essential requirement of self-love and self-care. I need to learn and practice radical self-acceptance.

I was naive at the start of this “life-rehab.” From the moment I first realized I had been in a long term abusive relationship with myself, I believed it would be an easy fix, that with awareness and mindfulness would come immediate and lasting change. I thought I could read a book, take a class, attend a workshop, complete a practice or project, and “presto chango” I would be transformed into a woman completely in love with herself, confident and strong.

I was so wrong. You can’t take years of self-abuse, self-hatred, self-loathing, and all of the self-soothing and coping strategies you’ve developed to counter those behaviors, to numb and distract yourself from all the hurt, and fix it so easily, so quickly. It is hard work to repair the damage done, to restore your self to yourself. Almost every single old habit, way of being has to be undone and replaced. This is slow, heavy work, and while so much has changed for the better already, there is more to be done.

loveapocalypse02

Kris Carr’s post The Myth of Finding Your Purpose is one thing that has helped me to see this more clearly. In it, she says “Your purpose has nothing to do with what you do…Your purpose is about discovering and nurturing who you truly are, to know and love yourself at the deepest level and to guide yourself back home when you lose your way.” She goes on to suggest a whole list of “what ifs” that precisely define what steps one might take to embody your purpose. She ends with saying:

Seriously, what if finding your purpose is about finding and nurturing yourself? Not an external to-do or accomplishment, even if that to-do or accomplishment is the most important discovery of all time. Because if you are the one destined to find the most important ah-ha of all time, you will probably find it quicker and easier if you feel good, loved and happy. Start there. It’s that simple.

This is directly in line with the wisdom of two of my primary practice traditions: yoga and meditation. Both used the term “warrior” to describe the practitioner, and in the lineage of Buddhist philosophy in which I practice, I train to be a Warrior, which is described as:

The Shambhala view of warriorship shares some of the qualities of earlier warrior traditions such as those from the Middle Ages that combined fearlessness with dignity and wisdom. The most important quality of the Shambhala warrior is being non-aggressive. The Shambhala warrior is defined by gentleness and fearlessness. As Chogyam Trungpa said it, “the first principle of warriorship is not being afraid of who you are.” ~William A. Gordon, Shambhala The Path of the Warrior

superhero earth necklace made by andrea scher, a gift to myself

Don’t be afraid of who you are. To be a spiritual warrior, face each moment with openness and fearlessness, because “the ultimate definition of bravery is not being afraid of who you are.” Susan Piver, who also practices in this lineage, defines confidence this way, “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.”

If service is the fruition, radical self-acceptance is the path. Tara Brach talks about this in Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha, where she defines this practice, this awareness of radical self-acceptance as “the willingness to experience ourselves and our lives as it is.” She goes on to say that:

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns…We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.

Stop Beating Yourself Up…Start Loving Yourself Radically!!, a video and blog post by Kute Blackson, explain the concept further, with great enthusiasm and clarity.

As one who practices radical self-acceptance, who is confident, a tenderhearted and brave warrior unafraid of herself or her life, showing up with an open heart, no matter how hard or how much it hurts, I can serve. I can embody generosity and love and confidence. I can manifest wisdom and compassion. I can satisfy my longing to ease suffering, in myself and in the world.

I’m still not sure exactly what shape that will take or what it will look like, how exactly it will manifest. Some of the possibilities are as a writer, a teacher, a therapist or coach, a yoga and/or meditation instructor, an artist, a mentor. Some topics I know something about are grief and loss, cancer, addiction, practice, writing, voice (both losing and finding it), mindfulness, and relationship with the self. I’m not exactly sure how those will come together into specific offerings, but I’m okay with not knowing. For now, I will continue to remember, as Jennifer Louden suggests, that “service springs from listening to that yearning – and taking action on it, step by little step.”

The view of the sky from my front porch, right now

I started writing this post in the dark of early morning, as I worked stringing the words and thoughts together the sun rose, and I am finishing with the sun up and out, the sky wide open and clear blue–something about that seems really, really right.

Something Good

frozenpond021. My heart is broken, but please don’t try to fix it from Heather Plett.

2. On clarity, crapness & tiny flames from Susannah Conway.

3. Silence and Grief and Permission from Annie Neugebauer.

4. Yelling Mime, “Quiet People, Loud Minds… To those who silently live in their heads.”

5. “If you do good, you’ll feel good”: Ann Curry explains origins of #26Acts of Kindness, and the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page. Also, #26acts of Kindness, I’m in @AnnCurry :: Are you? Plus a ton of ideas, videos & printables to aid you! from Kind Over Matter.

6. Dear 2012… a writing exercise, from Sarah Salway.

7. SPCA Driving Dogs. I sent the link for this to Eric, and told him to make sure that Sam didn’t see it, because I am convinced that when he rides in the back of the car, standing facing front the whole time unless it’s a really long ride, already thinks he’s driving, so I don’t want to give him any ideas.

8. Holiday, a beautiful post from Walking on My Hands. Especially this, “The holidays seem to be made of extremes: brilliance and shadow, joy and sorrow, twinkling lights and the longest darkness.”

9. The Week of Inward Looking is happening again! I’m planning to organize a personal retreat around the week, love the prompts from these brilliant beings.

10. “If you really knew me, you’d know…” (the ultimate conversation starter & story-sparker) from Alexandra Franzen.

11. “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” ~Eckhart Tolle

11.5 “We don’t see the things the way they are. We see things the way WE are.” ~The Talmud

12. Wishing You Love and Light on Ordinary Courage from Brene’ Brown.

christmasevemorningsky1013. Sitting in Sadness Together on Nourishing the Soul.

14. From Pema Chödrön:

DISSOLVING OUR SELF-IMPORTANCE: The fixed idea that we have about ourselves as solid and separate from each other is painfully limiting. It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play. That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us. We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people. Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world. We end up never satisfied.

We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs—or we don’t. Either we accept our fixed versions of reality, or we begin to challenge them. In Buddha’s opinion, to train in staying open and curious—to train in dissolving our assumptions and beliefs—is the best use of our human lives.

15. “When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without
flinching — they are your family.” ~Jim Butcher

frozenpond03

16.”We must have the daring to be nothing but ourselves if we are to know what true power is.” ~Danielle LaPorte

17. Interview with Sandra Juto and Johan Pergenius, (from Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list). The pictures of their Berlin apartment (especially the very first one), the character of the space, the history, the big windows, the wood floors, the simplicity, the wabi-sabi, makes me want to go to Amsterdam, rent an apartment and stay there for a few months, maybe forever.

18. Leaf Type, leafs made into a font (also from Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list). I love this, but even more I love that there are people out there who have such ideas, take the time to do, to make them, and then share. If you were to ask me why I am so in love with us, with life, this would be one of my answers, one example of many.

19. Mini Gingerbread Houses, (from Dani’s list on Positively Present). For some reason, tiny things are extra special.

christmasevemorningsky13

20. Compawssion: Portraits of Rescued Dogs. If you want a serious dose of cute, check out the gallery.

21. This quote from John Steinbeck in Steinbeck: A Life in Letters on Literary Jukebox

There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

22. Blog Post Idea Generator. Check out the others, some are funny, some are pretty useful, (although, I’m not naming my next dog Bunk or Gilligan).

christmasevemorningsky02

23. My Charity:Water campaign still has a few days left, if you have a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket, or your stocking. I am so excited that even if no one donates another penny, we gave enough so that 20 people will be served, have access to clean water. Best birthday present e v e r.

24. Rachel Cole is launching a new six week course, Ease Hunting. It’s going to be magic, just like everything she does. And yet, this will be extra, more than magic because this, this is what she does, this is her superpower.

25. Feel It from Hannah Marcotti.

26. And this great post from Kris Carr, The myth of finding your purpose, in which she says:

Your purpose has nothing to do with what you do. There, I said it. Your purpose is about discovering and nurturing who you truly are, to know and love yourself at the deepest level and to guide yourself back home when you lose your way. That’s it. Everything else is your burning passion, your inspired mission, your job, your love-fueled hobby, etc. Those things are powerful and essential, but they’re not your purpose. Your purpose is much bigger than that.

27. The Stuff We Let Go from Judy Clement Wall.

Resolve: Mid-Year Review

On this, the first day of the second half of this year of Retreat, I have been reflecting on what I’ve experienced so far, and contemplating what’s to come. My word for the year was Retreat, with the clarifying words being rest, practice, balance, and transformation. Retreat, a time to remove myself from the usual expectations and obligations, to study and practice.

My life, my experience, my path in the last six months has been 1000 shades of love, 1000 shades of weird, 1000 shades of magic. Sometimes, I feel like a starfish caught on the beach, moving as fast as I can but my progress barely perceptible to others, or like a butterfly just out of the chrysalis, slightly confused about my new state of being, sitting on a branch waiting for my wings to dry. I am utterly transformed, but exactly the same. I am as I always was, but suddenly awake, and in that way so completely different.

image by peter harrison

Through all the classes, blogging and regular features, writing and meditation retreats, workshops, books, challenges, practices, the genuine and constant effort of the past six months, I feel a little like I’ve been in graduate school, earning a Master’s of Arts in Wholehearted Living, a Master’s of Science in Applied Practice, a Master’s of Fine Arts in Loving. My teachers and guides have been Susan Piver, Andrea Scher, Susannah Conway, Brene’ Brown, Laurie Wagner, Jen Lemen, Jennifer Louden, Rachel Cole, Patti Digh, Geneen Roth, Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Jamie Ridler, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, my dogs, and so many others, along with an amazing group of fellow students on the same path–many of whom I’ll be meeting and connecting with at the World Domination Summit later this week.

room with a view

I still struggle with perfectionism, with lack of self-care and self-love, with being gentle with myself and present with my experience, and yet so much has changed. I don’t suffer from the crushing depression I did for so long. I’m not riddled with anxiety and stress. My path is no longer muddled by confusion or lack of clarity. Surprisingly, much of the transformation has been remembering who I am rather than becoming something else, about getting clear about the purpose and superpowers born into the world with me, a repeated mantra of “This is me. I am enough and I have enough. This is who I am, wise and compassionate and powerful.”

I still struggle to rest. I know intellectually how important it is, that I can’t give what I hope to from a place of overwhelm or exhaustion, that self-care is really just another way of ensuring the quality of my offering–but I long to know this in my gut, in my blood and bones, deep in my heart, to embody it fully. To practice it in the same way I do so many other things that are essential, that I do regularly without having to apply any special effort, like making 1/2 a cup of coffee in the morning, feeding and walking my dogs, or writing morning pages, these things that happen each and every day, no question and no matter what.

dexter and sam know how to play

Since rest is still an issue for me, balance has not been achieved–I find it for brief moments, but it’s not yet sustainable. I still work too much, which means I don’t eat or sleep or exercise or play like I should. Practice, which is deeper and richer (yoga, meditation, writing, reading, dog, walking/hiking, and love) is helping me to contemplate, consider, creep my way towards a middle path, a middle way. I have confidence, curiosity, and more clarity than ever, so there’s no despair or smashing myself to bits about it, (most of the time, anyway).

I’ve experienced so many things I wished for, longed for, imagined and dreamed about–my sense of what is possible has been expanded and reinforced to such a degree that I can start to relax a bit, sink into being, into the present moment, into “this minute of eternity.”

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~Rumi

Something Good

tide pool

Oh my, kind and gentle reader, after a shorter list last week, this week’s is extra long, so many awesome things I saw this week. My right eye is twitching anticipating writing this one up–and the tagging! Ugh…But every last thing on this list is worth it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother sharing.

One thing, there won’t be many videos shared while we are here on the coast, because I can’t really watch much of anything. While I am grateful to have the internet and my tiny computer, even a makeshift standup desk to use while I’m here, it’s not the same as home.

beach workstation

Specifically, everything just takes longer. For example, this morning I wanted to watch my latest Practitioner video from Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project, not because I had to, she lovingly includes a transcript with her email that I can read and get the same info, but I wanted to watch the video, wanted to see and hear her because I’m missing her, but for a five minute video, it took a half an hour to download on this internet connection, which is running on beach time, and because my tiny computer is slower, even working as hard as it can, I couldn’t really do much of anything else while the video downloaded.

So, all the fancy stuff on this list (whatever that means–do I even do anything fancy on this blog, or ever?!) will most likely be put on hold until I’m back in Colorado, mostly because I can’t watch anything to know if it’s good or worth sharing. But not to worry, because like I said, there’s lots of good stuff, even without the videos (and there is at least one video on this list).

1. Badass Courtney Carver and her post, People Will Think You Are Weird. I mentioned one of Courtney’s posts on this list last week, told you she was a badass, and she linked from this, her latest post, back to mine. I love this new one, it’s so true and such a good list, (many of which items would show up if I made a list of all the ways I’m weird–oh, good blog post idea! I must make a note of that…). She ends the post with this:

You will threaten some, but your weird, crazy, lovely, badass behavior will inspire and spread hope, joy, courage and change. Let go of the excuse that people might think you are weird if you make a change or try something new. They absolutely will and you will survive it. Maybe you are weird. Welcome to the club!

Yay for the weird club!

2. Where in the World Do I Start? from Leo Babauta on ZenHabits. I think Leo might just be the king of how to start. I know that he was incredibly helpful to me when I was starting again.

3. The Foolproof Way to Know You Are Loveable from Rachel Cole, a post which, interestingly enough, serves as the foolproof way to know that Rachel is loveable, utterly and completely.

4. How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love on Brain Pickings. So much awesome in this post.

5. This video touches and breaks my heart, The First 70 trailer shared in a post by Squam, and is too important to not pass on. And yes, I have been known to hug a tree.

6. Scavenger Hunt for Happiness, Live Lane on Your Heart Makes a Difference. Word.

7. How to Write a Book from Susannah Conway. Really good advice. She inspires me.

8. Dancing Matt. If you haven’t already seen these videos from this big hearted dancing goofball, I am so happy to introduce you to them.

9. Flab, Cellulite, and Dangling Arm Fat. Oh sisters, indeed: you are beautiful!

10. On What’s Wrong With You. Just read it.

11. 100 Things To Do Instead Of Procrastinating On The Internet! from Gala Darling. Now, to be clear, I obviously have nothing against the internet. Like all things created by and for humans, it has at its heart compassion and wisdom. What I like about this list isn’t as a list of things to do instead, but just as a good list of things to do.

12. Why the 21st Century Author is an Internet Entrepreneur. Oh, this is very, very interesting…

13. This quote, from the Dalai Lama.

Genuine peace of mind is rooted in affection and compassion. There is a very high level of sensitivity and feeling involved. So long as we lack inner discipline, an inner calmness of mind, then no matter what external facilities or conditions we may have, they will never give us the feeling of joy and happiness that we seek. On the other hand, if we possess this inner quality—that is, calmness of mind, a degree of stability within—then even if we lack various external facilities that are normally considered necessary for a happy and joyful life, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life.

14. From Miss Minimalist, Minimalist Philosophy: Not-To-Have and Not-To-Be. Yes, yes!

15. Against Positive Thinking: Uncertainty as the Secret of Happiness on Brain Pickings. This is good, essentially is arguing the same thing a Buddhist would tell you: “In order to be truly happy, it turns out, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to stop running quite so hard from them.”

16. What Is Art? Favorite Famous Definitions, from Antiquity to Today on Brain Pickings. Something I think about a lot.

17. Violence and Moral Dystopia on the L Train from Bindu Wiles. This falls into the category of “hard to think about, but important to try.”

18. How to Be Perfect from The Chick Blog. I need this message over and over until I finally get it.

19, This quote: “Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know? Maybe you just need one person.” ~Kermit the Frog

20. And this quote:

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. ~Albert Einstein

21. Leo Babauta’s Guide to Overcoming Self Doubt.

22. This quote: “Be just the way you have always been, with this difference: do not believe any of it, and pay close attention to all of it.” ~Cheri Huber

23. 12 Habits Standing Between You and What You Want from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

24. This quote: “We rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you have to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.” ~Fred Roger

24. Guest Maven: Susannah Conway on How to Survive the Crash on The Maven Circle. Sometimes, Susannah is so awesome, it makes me want to cry.

25. How To Survive When Everything Sucks, an oldie but a goodie from Alexandra Franzen on Unicorns for Socialism.

26. And this quote, from Pema Chödrön, shared by Patti Digh:

Instead of struggling against the force of confusion, we could meet it and relax. When we do that, we gradually discover that clarity is always there. In the middle of the worst scenario of the worst person in the world, in the middle of all the heavy dialogue with ourselves, open space is always there. (to which I [Patti Digh] would add: let’s
resist the urge to fill up that open space).