Tag Archives: Simplicity

Self-Compassion Saturday: Tammy Strobel

go small, think big, be happy. ~Tammy Strobel

This is going to be another one of those introductions, one of the ones where I tell you that I can’t remember exactly how I first discovered Tammy Strobel’s work, specifically her blog Rowdy Kittens. If I had to guess, it was probably through Susannah Conway, maybe she shared a link or something, (here’s an interview Susannah did with Tammy last year, My Creative Life: Tammy Strobel). Or, it might have been Courtney Carver of Be More with Less who shared a link to Tammy’s site. What I can tell you for sure is that I’ve been reading her blog, following her work for the past few years, and I have so much respect and love for her.

tammyintheroundTammy did a lot of work to simplify her life, to create the perfect one for herself. You can read all about her transformation in her book You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too.

Once, Tammy Strobel and her husband were living a normal middle-class lifestyle: driving two cars, commuting long distances, and living well beyond their means. Now they are living the voluntary downsizing — or smart-sizing — dream.

Tammy lives in a tiny house with her husband and cats, spending her days reading and writing and teaching and taking pictures, contributing wisdom and creating beauty — essentially doing whatever she wants, but also what helps. She says,

[L]iving simply isn’t about becoming an ascetic; it’s not about denying yourself pleasure and joy. It’s not about austerity. Instead, it’s about building a life steeped in the only precious gifts that can bring lasting happiness: time, freedom, and community. The focus is on life, not stuff.

photo by Tammy Strobel

photo by Tammy Strobel, her tiny house

I did meet Tammy last year at World Domination Summit. She won’t remember it because it went something like this — she was volunteering the first day, answering questions and giving people their name tags and shwag. I saw her at the table, walked up to her and said, “Are you Tammy of Rowdy Kittens?” She answered yes and smiled, and then someone else was asking for her attention and she turned, probably not even hearing me tell her how much I love her blog. It was actually one of the moments when I thought to myself, “why did I come here?,” the introvert in me wanting to run away home, skip the whole thing.

A little over a year later, and I have a space where I share people like Tammy with you, kind and gentle reader, my own little tiny corner of the world where I can invite people like her into a conversation about things that matter, where we can connect, be comforted and inspired. I wasn’t afraid this time to “talk” to Tammy, didn’t feel like I don’t belong. My small life is deep and wide, linked to a vast space filled with folks wise and kind. Along the way, from there to here, Tammy Strobel has been a constant inspiration, a source of wisdom and comfort to me. I am so happy today to be sharing her perspective on self-compassion with you.

tammysepia1. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

I define self-compassion as being kind to myself and accepting who I am — flaws and all.

2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

I learned about self-compassion from my parents, close friends, and from my husband. They are my teachers. I try to follow their example because they are incredibly kind to themselves and to others.

3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

Unfortunately, my inner dialogue isn’t always kind or accepting. When I catch myself engaging in negative self-talk, I remind myself that I am enough, that I’m doing good work, and that I have friends and family who love me.

photo by Tammy Strobel

photo by Tammy Strobel

Happiness isn’t a stroke of luck. It’s something you have to practice every day. How? By choosing activities that spur your curiosity and engagement with the present moment. ~Tammy Strobel

4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

I struggle with negative self-talk and have a lot to learn about self-compassion. Looking toward my loved ones and using positive mantras to stay on track helps me stay centered and grounded.

augustbreakselfietammy

selfie by Tammy

I’m so grateful to Tammy for taking the time to respond to these questions. In all of her work, everything she shares, I am constantly reminded to practice self-compassion, to allow joy and rest, to know that even in chaos, connection and comfort are possible, and that as Mary Oliver says, all I have to do is “let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” To find out more about Tammy, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Kristin Noelle, (which is such a sweet coincidence — Kristin drew the picture of Tammy and her tiny house that you see in the header of Rowdy Kittens).

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.

Something Good

For those of you who are new to my blog, here’s the story behind my Something Good posts: When I am feeling bad, I will often ask my husband Eric to “tell me something good.” When I need something to hang on to, to make me feel better, something to show me that it’s not all bad. When I am in that dark hole, way down at the bottom, and the mean things with teeth are down there with me –”tell me something good.”

He’s really good at it, because even when all he can think of is “I love you,” it totally works. I mean, how great is it that the person that you picked and who said “yes” almost 20 years ago, and knows you better than anyone, knows all the embarrassing and ugly stuff, continues to love you? He usually is able to give me a whole list when I ask him, followed by a hug and “what can I do for you, how can I make you feel better?”

So on A Thousand Shades of Gray, Monday’s feature is: Something Good. I like the idea of gratitude generating joy, and the opportunity my gratitude has to spread joy when I share the good things, so every Monday, I give you a list.

Here’s this week’s list:

1. 5 Plants You (Almost) Never Have to Water on House Logic.

2. Stunning Self-Portraits by a 14-year-old Photographer on Bored Panda.

3. Diana Fayt’s Painted Rocks (& Other Lovely Things) from Lisa Congdon.

4. Be Brave: A Poem-Film for Anyone Asking for Courage to Create from Jeffrey Davis.

5. Cute Pets in Windows from Bold Italics, originally shared by Rachel.

6. Reflections on Fearlessness and Best Links (May), a great list of good stuff from Sandra at Always Well Within, (confession: one of my posts is on the list).

7. Reason to Forgive | DubStep, video of a 12 year old who is an amazing dancer.

8. You’re not needy. You’re starving. from Rachel Cole. Amazing.

9. Out of the water from Lisa Bonchek Adams.

10. Patrick Stewart Speaks About His Childhood, Domestic Abuse and PTSD. The woman involved in this specific moment wrote about it on her blog as well, Let me tell you a thing, about an amazing man named Patrick Stewart.

11. This message from Brave Girls Club came just when I needed it,

Dear Sweet Girl,

You don’t have to have special permission to take a break, you know. You have done enough. When you are tired, and weary and feeling worn out, you need to be kind to yourself and take good care of your body and your spirit.

Please be good to yourself, beautiful friend . . . the world is not the same without the best of you. The people that you love the most have better lives because of you and the people you have not even met yet will have enriched lives because of you.

Your life will be better, happier, more effective, more efficient and more meaningful if you stop and take care of yourself. No more putting guilt trips on yourself or letting anyone else do it. No more working yourself so hard that you can’t even feel anymore . . . it’s time to REALLY nurture and take care of yourself. You are a gift to the world, please take care of YOU. Today’s a great day to start.

12. There’s Just No Time from Paul Jarvis, shared by Laura of Create as Folk.

13. Rijks Museum Free Hi-Res Art Downloads shared by Pugly Pixel.

14. Introducing Prancercise, just silly enough to be kind of awesome.

15. Be the Giver from Danielle LaPorte.

16. 9 Rules for a Simpler Day from Zen Habits.

17. What is Your Gift to the World? on Scoutie Girl.

18. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Tigers Above, 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.

19. 7 Things You Need to Stop Doing Every Day from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

20. Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags from Decor8.

21. Celebrate and Embrace Ventures and Adventures from Be More with Less.

22. Her Lilac Jacket on SouleMama. The sweetest pictures! This one is my favorite, (her little hand!).

23. Racists Very Upset Over Interracial Family in Cute Cheerios Commercial. The little girl in this commercial is super cute. Someone posted on Facebook last week about this and added, “Whomever has a problem with this better just go buy a white hood right now and be honest with yourself.” I couldn’t agree more.

24. it’s complicated from Sas Petherick. *sigh*

25. Inside the Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Treasure trove finally revealed after owner locked up and fled at outbreak of WWII.

26. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : what would love do?, and your daily rock : just breathe, and your daily rock : you are enough.

27. Name-calling Has Its Place: BED is Now Named as a Distinct Eating Disorder. So what’s in it for you? from Drop it and Eat.

28. Another Origami Fox from How About Orange. I wish I was better at this. I’d be making some of these, (shared by Positively Present).

29. This quote, People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. ~Iris Murdoch

peoniesonmydesk02

30. Google Poetics, (shared by Positively Present). “This blog started collecting Google Poems on October 2012 and is run by its founder Sampsa Nuotio and curator Raisa Omaheimo. Google Poetics is born when Google autocomplete suggestions are viewed as poems.” I could get lost in this site for a very, very long time. For example,

pain is temporary
pain is weakness leaving the body
pain is inevitable suffering is optional
pain is love

Or,

I am a disco dancer
I am a dwarf and I’m digging a hole
I am a dynamic figure
I am a dreamer

Pure awesome.

31. Patti Smith, We all have a creative impulse, shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list. The site where this video is posted, Channel Louisiana, has lots of other really cool stuff, if you want to get lost for a little while and haven’t already spent all your time on Google Poetics. Also on Susannah’s list this week was What’s Inside Our “Going Out” Bags.

32. Humans of New York. I’ve shared this site before, but it’s so good, I want to share it again in case you missed it the first time. You can also follow them on Facebook.

33. Issa Rae: Own Your Awkward on The Conversation.

34. From Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links post: A Revolution of Contentment by Sandra Pawula on the Bridgemaker, and Chic Tiny House in Omaha Nebraska on Air BnB, (the loft beds in tiny houses always make me think of sleeping in a tree house — magic).

35. My Dentist Was Made To Believe I Was Dead And It Made Me Realize Why I Shouldn’t Kill Myself And You Shouldn’t Either on xojane.

36. This wisdom from Marianne Williamson, “The kind of rest you seek you will find not from sleeping but from waking.”

37. This Poster Might Just Change Your Life. by Nicole Duncan on Elephant Journal.

38. This wisdom from Lama Christie McNally, The Tibetan Book of Meditation,

Tibetans say we should do our meditation practice “as if our hair was on fire.” We should have the same urgency to get out of this pain filled place as someone who has just woken up in a burning, smoke filled house. But it’s hard- all the distractions of this life keep stealing away our time and our mind. We keep telling ourselves, “I’ll meditate later.” Then one day you look up and realize life has passed you by, the time is gone, and it’s too late.

39. This wisdom from Jen Lemen, “I don’t want to be famous or popular or known for anything other than that I was deep and wise and had a soul that was wildly beautiful, full of mercy and light.”

40. Amanda Palmer on Creativity as Connecting Dots and the Terrifying Joy of Sharing Your Art Online and Be All Your Selves: Joss Whedon’s 2013 Wesleyan Commencement Address on Embracing Our Inner Contradictions on Brain Pickings.

41. Quotes shared by Justine Musk, You cannot truly enjoy life through your mind…It’s through the heart + the body that we get to party,” (Kagiso Msimango), and “There’s nothing more powerful than a woman who has met the truth inside her. Nothing,” (Meggan Jane Watterson).

42. Are Children Natural Vegans? by Sara Crolick on Elephant Journal.

43. This quote from Cheryl Stayed, “That silence is such a beautiful thing. It’s like the stars at night in the great alone and you there beneath them, saying thank you.”

44. Karma and Smartphones: How to Use Technology From a Buddhist Perspective, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche on Huffington Post.

45. Dog People Problems, from Reddit.

goodmorning

46. 2 year old problems: cinnamon rolls aren’t instant, from Reddit.

twoyearoldproblems

47. Wisdom from Chogyam Trungpa,

Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquility, nor is it attempting to be a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes.

48. Father and 2-year-old boy sing Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ in viral hit.

49. Let go … again, still, more from Lindsey on A Design So Vast.

50. The Pros and Cons (But Mostly Pros) of Adopting a Shelter Dog on Hello Giggles.

51. you are worthy. from Liz Lamoreux.

52. Feeding the Right Wolf, with Marianne Elliot on Sacred Circle.

53. The Big Book Giveaway! from Susannah Conway. This is a great set of books, some of my favorites! You should totally enter this, (but just know, I plan on winning the Book Bomb).

bigbookgiveaway

P.S. I think this might officially be the longest Something Good list e v e r.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: In order to do more, I need to do less. I have been getting this message loud and clear lately. To slow down, relax, focus on one thing at a time, to do one small thing and give it my full attention, to be completely present in each moment, to pay attention, to be exactly where I am as I am with what is, to sink deeply into life, to surrender my agenda and let go of my plans, to show up with an open heart and allow whatever arises to be.

2. Truth: I need more rest. My strategy in the past was to push through tired, to keep going until collapse or overwhelm. Then I started resting more, and feeling better. And yet, I’m realizing that I need even more rest than I thought (instead of eight hours of sleep, I feel better with nine or ten, with lots of breaks during the day, plenty of time alone, lots of quiet and stillness, fresh air and long walks). What I am also accepting is that this is not a sign of weakness or a failure, it just is.

3. Truth: I want a small, simple life. And yet, when I say that, I also mean that I want this life to be deep and wide, spacious–which I know seems like a contradiction, but makes perfect sense to me somehow.

One Truth: That we all find the balance that works for us, that we get the rest we need, and that our lives are exactly the right fit for us.

Something Good

1. Life in Five Seconds: Minimalist Pictogram Summaries of Pop Culture and Historical Events on Brain Pickings. (I think the Michael Jackson one might be a bit harsh, but the rest are pretty cool).

2. Savor on Just Lara. Some day I will learn how to do this.

3. This quote from Thich Nhat Hahn:

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don’t try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.

4. 20 Ways Toddlers are Like Drunk People and How Having Children is Like Living in a Frat House. So funny, because it’s true.

5. An Apology to End All Apologies from Julie Daley on Unabashedly Female.

6. The Beauty of Losing from Jennifer Louden.

7. The Pace, The Process and The Promise from Sas Petherick.

8. Dolphin Seeks Help from Diver.

9. This quote from Hugh MacLeod, “If you’re unhappy, nine times out of ten it’s because you’re clinging onto something. Nine times out of ten, happiness and letting go are synonymous.”

10. This quote from Ernest Hemingway, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

11. How to Slow Down: A Simple Guide to Slow Living from Cigdem Kobu.

12. On Turning 35 from Christina Rosalie. “This, this is my beautiful, reckless, heartbreaking, perfect life.”

13. “In truth, there is enormous space in which to live our everyday lives.” ~Pema Chödron

14. 20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision on Flavorwire.

15. You are Beautiful Book Kickstarter Project. You know I pledged.

youarebeautifulsticker

16. A new website, Make Me Joyful. Yes, please.

17. Goodbye Mom. A beautiful tribute to his mother, and a message for all of us.

18. Brene’ Brown on the Today Show.

19. A Good Life from Judy Clement Wall, and a really good question.

20. This quote:

Meditation is not something that you do. Meditation is a movement into the whole question of our living: how we live, how we behave, whether we have fears, anxieties, sorrows; whether we are everlastingly pursuing pleasure; and whether we have built images about ourselves and about others. ~J. Krishnamurti

21. Patti Digh reminded me of this post, Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life.

22. This quote:

Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes. ~Jack Kornfield

23. Meet this transient world with neither grasping nor fear, trust the unfolding of life, and you will attain true serenity. ~Bhagavad Gita

24. Kindness is the Cure for Depression from Gennifer Carragher on Kind Over Matter. (P.S. I am compelled to add, however, that if your depression doesn’t get better with this method, is more than mild, please ask for help).

25. The Truth About Simplicity on Be More With Less by Courtney Carver.

26. Rachel Cole’s Pooches Pintrest board. Oh, the cuteness!

27. Tickets are now on sale for Rachel’s 2013 Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop Tour. Now I just have to decide which one to go to…

rwc_retreatshop2013_badge

28. A few of these things came originally from some other really good lists you should read, if you like this sort of thing:

29. Wide Awake: The Path of Meditation, a webinar with Susan Piver, an introduction to the basics of meditation practice.

30. And finally, quite possibly the cutest thing all week: A Pep Talk from Kid President to You.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: It’s not going to stop until I wise up. I was beating myself up the other day for eating so many lemon poppy seed scones in a single day, (each one is glazed and as big as my face, and I was having a hard week, somehow thought eating them was going to make me feel better, but feeling instead a mix of shame and disgust–this is how it always works). I was starting to get angry, why does this keep happening? why can’t I control myself? why can’t I stop? It was in that moment that I felt something snap and then soften, felt some measure of surrender, giving up, letting go, and I knew: this will continue as long as I deny myself, hide and reject who I truly am, what I really want and feel and need and am, and then it will be over. I realized that until I surrender to what life is really asking of me, give in completely, give up all of the habits and excuses that are stopping me, it won’t ever stop–I have to surrender to what is, to who I am.

2. Truth: I need to shift from a focus on growth to one of sustainability. The way I’m approaching my experience isn’t working, can’t be maintained, is happening at the cost of my health and my sanity. I’m not sure exactly what it should look like instead, I just know I can’t keep doing it like this. I’ll burn out, fade away. I’m attempting and accumulating, but it’s not sustainable. I’m craving space, hungry for stillness and quiet, wanting to clean and declutter, to nest, to rest. It’s the season, but it’s also the path I’ve been on (more like a German autobahn than a path), driving so fast and working so hard to get where, exactly?

3. Truth: Where I want to be, what I am longing to manifest is who I already am, just me, to be that. The card in the picture is on my desk at my paid work. It’s been there for the past year, even though it’s one from a set of 53. There it sits, day after day, giving me its wisdom, silently sending me its message, waiting patiently to be noticed, and I continue to be so busy, I don’t even see it. Until the other day, when I actually saw it, looked, listened, opened my heart to it, felt it whisper this is what I want.

One Wish: For simplicity and spaciousness. “We all want a sense of spaciousness and freedom, but we find we can claim that freedom, strangely, only by living out a focused, radical, courageous simplicity,” (David Whyte). That–a focused, radical, courageous simplicity–that is what I wish for today, kind and gentle reader. For all of us.

Full Moon Dreamboard: Corn Moon

From Jamie’s post: “Today we’re celebrating the Full Corn Moon, the beginning of harvest season, a celebration of the fruits of golden summer and a preparation for what is to come.”

What dreams do I wish to bring to fruition?

Maybe it’s because I am just finishing a weekend retreat, but when I thought about this question, my response wasn’t about projects I hoped to complete or accomplishments I wanted to realize or plans I longed to fulfill, it was about my life, the quality of my experience.

I want to simplify, a return to innocence, to quiet and stillness, to fully experience my life without all the clutter and the chatter and the crap.

I want spaciousness. I want freedom. I want peace–internal contentment and calm. I want clarity and kindness, pure wisdom.

I long to ease suffering in the world, including my own. I want to show up and keep my heart open, to know courage, to stay with the beauty and the brutality, the tenderness and the terror.


May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you be free from suffering.

Achieve happiness and balance.
Restore. Simplify. Rest.
Follow your natural instincts.
True to life.

There is a map written on your heart
rivers of wisdom
mountains of kindness
oceans of love
every road leading to wisdom
space and sky
real, tangible, solid and true
waiting to be traveled, to be seen, to be noticed.

Follow the map, the path to your True North,
each letter, each step, each breath
leading straight to the center of your heart,
to the being, the deep middle of your life.

Something Good

this morning’s foggy walk

Today starts the sad countdown: this is our last Monday at the beach. Next Monday, we’ll wake up in Idaho and start the long final day of driving to get home to Fort Collins. The weather here at the beach the last few days has been foggy and rainy with very few sun breaks, and in a way, we are glad. A week of not so great weather at the end will make it easier to leave.

1. Reject the Allure of Stuff on Be More With Less by the badass Courtney Carver, (who I got to meet just last week). I feel right now like I need to read every word she writes, she’s so right on about everything I am feeling and longing for in my life, a clearing out and simplifying, a clarity of focus. Her “this over that” strategy is brilliant.

2. Flora Bowley has a blog! Already this morning, it made me cry twice. Her last two posts were amazing. She is doing some really good stuff right now, blooming big and bright and true, so I suggest you keep an eye on her.

Last week, when I was in Portland, I was walking to Kelly Rae Robert’s studio for a get-together pre-WDS, and saw a woman waiting for the streetcar holding Flora’s book, Brave Intuitive Painting-Let Go, Be Bold, Unfold!: Techniques for Uncovering Your Own Unique Painting Style, and told her “that’s a really great book.” Then on the main floor of Kelly Rae’s building, there’s a shop called Hunt & Gather that had lots of Flora’s paintings, so I was thinking about her, how amazing the book and how much I love her work, on the way upstairs. It was a magical surprise when I entered the studio and there Flora was! I hadn’t known she would be there.

3. Seventeen Magazine Gets Real by Liv Lane. Self-love, acceptance, and stepping into your own power.

4. Jen Lee’s conversation with Jonatha Brooke, Turning Points & No Regrets, from her Retrospective podcast series. Jonatha is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. In fact, just the other day, I was driving up HWY 101 with Steady Pull in the CD player having my own little dance party, flash mob of one. Both of these women inspire me, and together the inspiration was three times as powerful, (I never said I could do math).

5. A Profound Idea that Can Change Your Life by Jennifer Louden. This is a powerful post. I got to talk with Jennifer last week at WDS, tell her how much I adore her, thank her for all the good work she does. What I loved the most about it was that in person she’s exactly what I expected: full of energy, kind and generous, and so funny.

6. How to Not Care Too Much About What People May Think of You. I’m still thinking about the conversation Julia and I had about fear, how she said that at the heart of most fear is “what they will think of me,” so the timing of this post on The Positivity Blog was perfect.

7. Reflections on the World Domination Summit. There have been lots of really good ones, but some of my favorites so far are these:

8. A Letter from Your Calling by Tara Sophia Mohr on Tiny Buddha. “I weep for the joy you are missing out on. I weep because you aren’t getting to witness your immense strength and brilliance. I weep for what the world is missing out on too.” Yep, I needed to hear this, again.

9. Freedom on miss minimalist. Another one I needed to hear again. Between Miss Minimalist and Badass Courtney Carver, there’s hope for me yet.

10. Book Spine Poetry Vol. 6 on Brain Pickings. I absolutely love these.

11. Save the Lyric Theater Kickstarter project. You know how much I love Kickstarter, and this theater is near and dear to my heart and my home. I’ll be giving, and I hope enough others are compelled to do so as well.

12. Simplify from Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. It’s like the universe is sending me a message, a pretty direct and obvious one I think.

13. Things She Says: Things my Three Year Old Says. This project is awesome and adorable, and I dare you to look and not smile.

14. Movie Day with my mom. This is one of my favorite things, to rent three or four movies and spend all day watching them with my mom. We live 1200 miles apart, so I only get to do this about once a year, and tomorrow is the day. Woo-hoo!

15. And this quote: “The aim of all religions…is recovery of our real nature by awakening from the living-dream,” (Wei Wu Wei). I’m going to add that the aim of every life is the discovery of our real nature, our innate wisdom and compassion, to wake up to that.