It’s still Christmas on the Poudre River Trail. Every year, someone sneaks over and decorates three of the trees along the trail, always the same three trees.
1. SECRET BAD GIRL: A Sexual Trauma Resolution Revolution, a Kickstarter project by Rachael Maddox. “How I broke my long-standing sexual trauma spell and grew vibrant, vital & free. A provocative memoir & wildly wise resolution guide.” The deadline to contribute is 12/30 at 5 pm EST. I’m adding my own contribution because I want to read this book and because Rachael is doing important work here.
Earlier this month we profiled eleven Syrian families that were preparing to begin new lives in America. They have escaped a horrible war, and have finally secured a degree of safety and security, but the road will be very tough for them. They will be starting at zero in a new country. In addition to the culture shock, they will face innumerable obstacles, including the need to learn an entirely new language. As they attempt to get their footing, they will be provided with little more than the bare minimum needed to subsist. This holiday season, let’s give them a little breathing room. The amount we raise over the next 48 hours will be divided evenly among the refugee families that were featured on HONY this month. Many of these families left Syria with nothing. For years they’ve been forced to stretch every dollar to provide for basic needs, so direct assistance will go a long way. Many of these families are large so we certainly can’t cover all their financial needs. But we can lighten the load and help ease the anxiety of starting over in a strange land. So please consider taking part in this gift by making a small donation.
15. If Gyms Were Honest, from Dances with Fat. Reason #111 I want to start my own gym, and when I do, this will be my mission statement.
16. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,
Limitations can be acknowledged without exaggerating or succumbing to them. When we’re confident that our mind is workable, our failings don’t seem like such a big deal. They’re as temporary as clouds, and in no way diminish the skylike nature of our mind. With this kind of confidence in our limitless potential, the mightiest challenges won’t cause us to lose heart.
I know some of you will be sad about this, but there won’t be a Something Good list next week. I’m taking a week off to visit my family in Oregon, which means I’m taking a week off from blogging. I hope that even without my list, something good will find its way to you, kind and gentle reader. If not, this particular list is long enough, it might take two weeks to get through it all. 🙂
It should be the easiest thing of all, shouldn’t it? But it isn’t easy to be true to yourself. Sometimes it is a very lonely road, and a very bumpy road. There are days when we all want to look around at what everyone else is doing and then just do the same so we can go with that flow and just fit in. At least it wouldn’t feel so lonely. Or would it???
You may have tried to fit in, and tried again, and then still again. You may have even “toned it down” enough for a while that you actually DID fit in, but it made your heart hurt and you just couldn’t betray yourself for very long.
If every funky little daisy in the flower garden spray painted herself red so she could hang out with the roses, the world wouldn’t have any variety at all, and what a sad sad sad life for that sunshiny, spunky free-spirited daisy. She was born to be a daisy, after all.
And guess what? the other flowers want her to be a daisy, too. Daisies are WONDERFUL. Be courageous enough to boldly live your own truth. You are so very very very spectacular. Just BE YOU.
One of the worst mistakes we can ever make is to wait and wait and wait for there to be the “right amount” or the “right people” or the “right person” or the “right circumstances” to start living the life that is calling to us. No matter where we are or what we have, there is always a way to get headed in the right direction…and to just begin.
So, dear friend, begin today. Begin with something big or begin with something small, but begin. Begin with one step. And then just take another and another and another and another. If you are waiting for the perfect time to start, the perfect time is now. If you think the time has passed and it’s too late, it is not. Begin today. We really just have to decide that we are going to make something happen, and somehow we will be able to pull together what we need to do it.
As the old Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago — the second best time is today.” Do what you can with what you have right now, today. Begin.
If you’ve felt that you have to do more to “earn” help or comfort or blessings….if you’ve struggled through to prove that you can do it on your own and run yourself into the ground before you ask for help…if you are so busy with your head down, plowing through and suffering…that you simply fail to notice things that would ease your pain that are right in front of you…
…then it’s time, sweet friend, to look around and see what is there to make things better. Notice beauty, good books, music, helpful people, generous offers and random acts of grace. When something shows up, open yourself up to it. You don’t have to earn it, you don’t have to do anything to “deserve” it. Simply noticing it, welcoming it, and saying thank you is enough…
Loving-kindness is the essence and nature of the whole world and of every being. To see and experience this is to realize who we are. We can all observe that, if someone is in a quiet, undisturbed place—for example, in nature—he or she will become more peaceful. The more peaceful that person becomes, the more joyful, wise, and helpful they will be to others. That is a clue that our human nature in its normal, undisturbed state is not violent or harmful, but loving.
The unsung heroes are the millions and millions of people across this country that engaged in conversations. And many of those one-on-one conversations made people think twice about their original positions. At the end of the day it was nothing more than the aggregation of those conversations and the courage of people to stand up to even their parents, to say, “No Dad, you’re wrong on this—it’s wrong to deny Uncle Bob the ability to get married; it’s your brother. How dare you subjugate him to second-class status?” It was literally those conversations that changed public opinion, gave politicians more courage, and brought us to where we are today.