Tag Archives: Self-Help

Something Good

narrowleafbare

1. Sas Petherick’s “Down To Basics” Pinterest board. I want this, all of it.

2. Do You Conspire Against Yourself? A hard truth from Jennifer Boykin on Life After Tampons,”YOU are at the heart of everything that happens in your life.”

3. A heartbreaking and beautiful post, written by Neil Gaiman about his beloved Shepherd, The Power of the Dog. Cabal (2003-2013).

4. This quote: “There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self.” ~Brian Andreas

5. From Pema Chödrön:

Here, Now, Always: This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always. We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.

6. This quote:

The experience of joy is not
necessarily religious in any conventional way.
But a distinguishing characteristic of joy
is the feeling people have that they have touched
the hem of something far beyond themselves.
~Ardis Whitman

7. A note to me from the Universe: “It was perhaps one of your greatest acts of love, Jill. Choosing to be alive at a time when so many live so deeply in the dark. And already things are looking brighter.”

And this one, “Sometimes the people who know, Jill, don’t know they know. And sometimes the people who don’t know, think they do know. But you can always tell who is who, because, of course, with knowing comes tolerance, and patience, and love.”

And this one, “Believe it or not, Jill, if it weren’t for your so-called issues, problems, and challenges, there’d be no other way you could become even happier, cooler, and more enlightened than you have ever been before.”

8. This one makes me laugh, “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.” ~Larry Eisenberg

9. The Challenge in Beginning, on Kind Over Matter by Jo Anna Rothman.

10. On Turning 45 by Lisa Congdon. I think I want to trade 45s with Lisa.

11. This quote from Mark Nepo:

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.

12. This is making me so happy right now, music from the band Washed Out. It’s categorized as “Dream Pop” on Rhapsody, one of my favorite genres. You might recognize this from Portlandia.

13. Inspiration Procrastination — are you a self-help junkie? on Simply Woz. Why yes, yes I am.

14. This video is so sweet: Lazaro Arbos, American Idol Auditions Chicago ~ American Idol.

15. The Surprise That Left Steve Harvey [and me] In Tears.

16. This quote from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche:

By connecting with basic goodness in this moment, we can live in an open, free, and unconditioned way. Without comparison, there is no jealousy or pride. There is simply a feeling of delight and brilliance. When we cower from this possibility, comparisons immediately arise and we are thrown into a whirlwind of insecurity and doubt.

17. 25 free romantic fonts from A Subtle Revelry.

18. By way of Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, Eight Healthy Comfort Foods (I am going to make some Amazeballs), and this video, which makes me so happy, (by way of Swiss Miss–check out the rest of their site, there’s some really cool stuff there–amazeballs!):

19. From From Positively Present Picks list: On Dog Hair from Bobulate, and from Huffington Post, Tina Fey: ’30 Rock’ Star’s Success Secret: ‘Say Yes’.

20. Moving Art channel on You Tube. Some really beautiful videos.

21. Some of my favorite women in conversation, connecting: Story Whispers, Sas Petherick with Hannah Marcotti, and The Illuminated Purposepreneur: Hannah Marcotti on Create as Folk with Laura Simms.

22. Scattered by Sas Petherick. (I’m apparently crushing hard on Sas, because she’s on my list three times this week).

23. From Brain Pickings: How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word and Can Money Buy Happiness? The Science of Materialism, Animated.

24. This quote: “Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time.” ~Shunryu Suzuki

25. This quote from Rumi:

Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

26. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh, Say “Wow” and Be Open to Change.

27. Living Things on SF Girl by Bay.

28. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday list, this quote: “Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” -Bhagavad Gita (so true…)

29. Judgement vs. Empathy by Alexis Yael on Kind Over Matter.

30. Some Days, a blessing from Erica Staab (and John O’Donohue).

31. Salon’s guide to writing a memoir.

Learning Things by Heart

Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I met with my meditation instructor this past week, and during our discussion about something else, she inadvertently gave me insight into a bigger issue I’d been contemplating, struggling with.

I’ve talked about it before: I have trouble staying on a middle path. I practice and live too tight–work too hard, try to do too much, smash myself to bits–and because of that, I end up collapsing into practicing too loose–exhaustion, numbness, depression, and smashing myself to bits, (notice how I can work that in no matter what end of the pendulum swing I’m in?).

I have been on a mission to “fix” myself, to change, to break out of old habits that no longer serve me, a life-rehab, but my approach has been a lot of the same old, same old. And is it really about changing, becoming someone new, someone else? Do I need another self-improvement strategy, another self-help plan? Another diet, another book, another workshop or class?

And you, when will you begin that long journey into yourself? Rumi

The reminder from my M.I. is that instead of grasping or searching for something else, anything more, I could try sinking deeper into my practice, the wisdom that’s already with me.

For example, instead of reading six books at the same time, rushing through so fast I barely remember it once it’s over because there’s a long list of ones that I have to get to right after, I could try reading one, maybe more than once, really know it, savor it. Or instead of training to be a yoga teacher, I could remain a practitioner, sinking in and truly embodying the practice, learning the full measure of what it has to teach. Or, instead of filling most of my week with regularly scheduled blog features, I could spend more time writing, straight from my heart, exactly where I am. I could remember the importance of naps and staring at my toes. I could connect with reality.

As Susan Piver so brilliantly shared in her Huffington Post article, Meditation, Relaxation, and the Self-Help Demon, “stop, slow down, look within and allow for both your brilliance and your brokenness.”

If we are looking for or saying “yes” to one thing, we are essentially saying “wait” or even “no” to something else, maybe what we’ve already committed to, what we’ve already found, who we already are.

We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake. ~Pema Chödrön

I was rereading the above quote, and realized I should try and memorize it, make it a true mantra–anytime I feel the pull to try something new, to push myself, anytime I feel like I am not good enough, anytime I am beating myself up for some supposed failure or mistake, every time I wish I were something other than I am, somewhere or sometime other than right where I am, I could repeat it to myself, remind myself.

Or maybe the simple, gentle reminder to relax is enough?

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver