Tag Archives: SouleMama

Something Good

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

Our front garden is now officially a jungle.

This is a very special Something Good list. Starting today, I am partnering with Wanderlust to share my list with a larger audience. Their tagline is “find your true north,” and they answer the question “what is Wanderlust?” this way,

a strong or irresistible desire to Travel • Practice Yoga • Listen to Music
Eat Well • Be Green • Appreciate Art
and create a community around mindful living.

I’ll still be publishing the full list here every Monday morning, but from now on there will also be a shorter, specially curated list posted on Wanderlust — a collection of my favorites from the longer list, links best suited to their audience and mission. If you clicked over from Wanderlust today, welcome! And if you are already one of my kind and gentle readers, welcome back!

1. 100 Poems – 100 Days, a new project from an amazing artist, (blogger, author, photographer, and painter), Christina Rosalie. She’s committed to writing 100 original poems in 100 days, posting a new one each day. Her latest painting is also brilliant.

2. Motivation < Action from Paul Jarvis, sent out in his Sunday Dispatches email. “Motivation, even for mundane things like exercise or writing more, is theoretical. Whereas action is tangible.” This piece is a great argument for taking one tiny step rather than making a big plan. He also posted a great piece on Medium, Master working for yourself without crushing your soul, which he summarizes this way,

People that really do well working for themselves don’t do it for the money fights on their private yachts or the standing ovations (on Facebook), they do it because they want to add value for others while leading life as they see fit.

3. I’m Too Old for This on The New Yorker. Author Dominique Browning considers a new mantra, “A goodbye to all that has done nothing but hold us back.”

4. Why I Got Rid of My Teacher’s Desk. I love this, but I had to admit all I keep thinking was “where are you going to keep your stuff?”

5. The Size We’re Supposed to Be from Dances with Fat. “It doesn’t matter what size someone is or why they are that size, it’s absolutely none of anybody else’s business, and everybody deserves to be treated with basic human respect.” Amen. Ragen also gives some good advice in another post, When Good Friends Post Bad Fat Jokes, advice that seems like it would be relevant to dealing with a whole host of offenses.

6. Paramedic’s angry Facebook post about “burger flippers” getting $15/hr goes viral.

7. Walking vs. Elliptical Machine, Redux. Which is better? Read this and find out, (sort of).

8. Which Character Strengths Are Most Predictive of Well-Being? Read the answer in this post on Scientific American. **Spoiler alert** “The single best predictor of well-being was gratitude.”

9. 28 of the best things I ever did — from my bedroom to my business, a list worth contemplating from Danielle LaPorte. What would be on your list?

10. CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret. I don’t CrossFit train because I’m afraid of the yelling and crashing of weights and loud music, because of all the noise, but this seems like another reason to take care.

11. Wisdom from PattyMara Gourley, “May my art be my medicine. May my medicine be my art.”

12. Help! I Have a Weird Relationship with Food, But Is It an Eating Disorder? An important discussion about an important issue on Everyday Feminism, which suggests, “And the problem is that we’ve standardized disordered eating to the point that we think it’s normal.”

13. Why Does Anyone Do Yoga, Anyway? on Psychology Today. “The health benefits are very real. But few understand how it affects the mind.”

14. Why diets don’t actually work, according to a researcher who has studied them for decades. I think I shared this when it first came out, but it’s definitely worth a repeat read.

15. Why Norway’s Prison System Is So Successful. **Spoiler alert** “The country relies on a concept called ‘restorative justice,’ which aims to repair the harm caused by crime rather than punish people. This system focuses on rehabilitating prisoners.”

16. A Prayer for Writers & Creatives from Jennifer Louden, a wonderful reworking of “metta” or lovingkindness practice. It makes me think of all the other ways we might use this practice, the other special, specific populations we could offer it to more directly.

17. Starving Is A Terrible Condition For Making Art from Terrible Minds. Chuck Wendig debunks the myth and gives some really great advice.

18. A whole bunch of wisdom from Seth Godin: The squeaky wheel problem (an issue certainly worth considering), and Make three lists (a great practice when starting a new project), and The other kinds of laziness (so important), and The illusion of control (oh, snap!).

19. Wisdom from a Note from the Universe, “Always listen to your doubts…Not just because they might teach you of your fears, but because, sometimes, they might teach you of your wisdom.”

20. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You have the right to stand up for yourself. If you are being hurt, abused, manipulated, bullied or diminished by someone else, you have the right to stop it. You can be kind, wish everyone the best, and do what you can to be helpful, but that doesn’t mean you should ever allow someone to chip away at you. You are way too important. You have the right to protect yourself.

We must never allow others to abuse us where we are weak. We must not let others determine our worth, ever. We must not allow our hearts to be abused, manipulated or exploited.

We can be kind, but this does not mean that we need to allow everyone to the closest parts of our souls. We must guard the gates to our hearts and recognize that it is a true honor for anyone to ever come close to the deepest parts of us, and this honor should be reserved for a select few who only want the best for us and who love us exactly as we are. You have a right to stand up for yourself. You have a right to walk away. You have a right to go where the peace is.

and this,

Did you know that one of the keys to a happy and peaceful life is to do your best to leave a mark of goodness wherever you go? Here’s a tip to big and little pieces of random and beautiful happiness:

-Whenever you can, if it is in your power, leave people, places, and situations better than you found them.

-Do your best when you are working, whether or not you are publicly rewarded for it (the best rewards are the internal ones, when you can feel so good deabout your work)

-Be kind and as generous as possible to others, whether or not they notice or appreciate it

-Make your surroundings more beautiful than you found them, whether or not it is your responsibility.

This is especially helpful and wonderful if your brain wants to do the opposite because you have been hurt by someone or something. It heals your whole soul if what your brain really wants to do is ‘stick it to’ someone, but YOU choose to joyfully give. The very best thing you can ever, ever do for your heart and your soul is to leave people, places, and situations better than you found them, even if those things did they best they could to leave you in a not-so-desirable position. YOU have the power to turn it all around and make it beautiful again.

20. 8 Ways to Get Ready for Your Wild and Precious Life on Be More With Less. Courtney is so good at distilling the truth down to the simplest seed. In this post, she ends with,

“While we can’t be certain about how our lives will unfold, when we decide to be mindful about how we spend our time, and the people we want to be, we have a shot at not only knowing the answer to this lovely question, but living it too.”

21. Good stuff from Allowing Myself: Do Your Work, in which Justine makes the distinction between her job and her work, and trust, where she tells the story of her new tattoo, “I contemplated it for so long, it’s like something snapped into place, like it’s always been there, it’s just now I can see it.”

22. Manifesto of the Brave & Brokenhearted: The Rising Strong Book Trailer from Brene’ Brown.

23. 3 Small Discipline Habits You Can Train from Zen Habits, great advice and a gentle approach to finding a little more discipline in our lives, “Three simple skills that can be turned into habits with repeated practice.”

24. in the garden, August 7 on SouleMama. Her garden updates are so dreamy. I want to go to there.

25. Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant, a repeat share, but there’s still a need, so much money left to raise. Andres just turned four last week, and I hope he gets much, much older, as well as healthy.

26. Don’t Fucking Touch Me. *sigh*

27. 40 Questions that Will Quiet Your Mind from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I don’t think this is the right title for this post. It should be “40 questions that will prompt a bunch of contemplation, thinking, and brain activity.” They’d be really great conversation starters or journal prompts.

28. Take Back Your Life, wisdom from Rachel Cole. “Your time, energy, and money are precious precious resources. They are the stuff that either makes or wastes a meaningful life.”

29. Awakening connections from Kirsten Akens. I finally got to meet Kirsten in person, when we attending the event she talks about in this post. It’s so great to see her getting clear about who she is, what she has to offer.

30. so, about that daring way workshop on Chookooloonks. Seriously, Karen and Brene’ are a super duo. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.

31. money talks with amy tingle on Mabel Magazine.

32. Good stuff shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week list: a gallery of Ebola survivors, and a rustic country retreat (I want to go to there), and Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence.

33. 5 Tweets That Sum Up Why People Are Upset About Stonewall, “why Stonewall misses the mark and why people are signing the GSA Network’s petition for a boycott of the film.”

34. Creative Man Builds a Feline Feeding Machine That Requires His Cat to Hunt for His Dinner. What a wonderful life this cat has.

35. Earth View: A Curated Selection of the Most Striking Satellite Images Found on Google Earth, an amazing set of pictures.

36. Artist Buys Billboard Advertising Time to Display Art Instead of Ads on Massachusetts Highways. “Created as a set of billboards along two Massachusetts highways, ‘Healing Tool’ is a temporary public art installation by artist Brian Kane produced to temporarily relieve stress and promote introspection during one’s monotonous daily commute.”

37. Why You Need To Try Japanese Forest Bathing. “Inspired by Buddhist and Shinto practices, forest bathing naturally engages you in non-directed attention and mindfulness meditation.”

38. Wisdom from Shunryu Suzuki, “The only way you can endure your pain is to let it be painful.”

39. How Long You Can Freeze Everything, In One Chart. As summer winds down and my garden stops producing and fruit season ends, this will help as I consider what I might save.

40. We Need to Talk About Amy Winehouse’s Eating Disorder and Its Role In Her Death.

41. New Suicide Hotline Dedicated to Trans People Now Open for Calls.

42. Seven-Year-Old Black Belt Is Breakout Star in Gender Equality Ad From ANZ.

43. Centuries-old bonsai that survived atomic bomb gets honored 70 years later.

44. What To Do When You See Someone Being Harassed. Really good advice on Medium.

45. 16 Graphs That Will Help You Understand Your Highly Sensitive Friends So Much Better.

46. My township calls my lawn ‘a nuisance.’ But I still refuse to mow it. “Manicured lawns are ruining the planet.”

47. The Enmity Remained: Negating the Possibility of Change by Sharon Salzberg. Her regular column at On Being is worth following. Because this,

I think it is true that in the reality of our lives some might wish to harm us. As wise human beings, we should try to avoid them or do anything we can do to null their power. I’ve heard of the Dalai Lama, for example, telling a friend with a mentally ill mother who had in the past tried to harm her to open her heart completely to her mother and offer her lovingkindness and compassion — but from a distance. That was a stunner. The Dalai Lama advising clear boundaries and self-protection? Well yes, but from a place of wisdom and compassion, rather than hatred and disdain. The wisdom and compassion provide their own powerful energy and give us strength to act.

Something Good

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

1. Fuck That! A Manifesto from Gala Darling.

2. More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think.

3. How not to talk to people with an eating disorder.

4. A Tiny Hamster And A Hedgehog Had A Tiny Tiki Party Because The Internet Is Amazing.

5. Nepal Earthquake Relief Coalition.

6. A Variety of Unprocessed Foods Cut into Uncannily Precise 2.5cm Cubes by Lernert & Sander.

7. Release Tension in the Psoas. “Our yoga practice is an opportunity to undo this chronic tension, and establish a deep and abiding sense of harmony in the body and mind.”

8. The Secret Life of a Scorpio on Elephant Journal.

9. 23 Brilliant Life Lessons From Anthony Bourdain.

10. Rats try to rescue others in distress, suggesting they feel empathy.

11. How to Get Rid of Clutter You Care About from Be More with Less.

12. In the Garden, May 14 on SouleMama.

13. How to Get Your Spouse on Board for Your Career Change from Laura Simms.

14. 3 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be on Marc and Angel Hack Life.

15. the stylists: little nicki on SF Girl by Bay.

16. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, two different messages, both ones I needed to hear,

Dear Spread-Too-Thin Girl….

Is it time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you, and let the rest go so that you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things…instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place?

Your heart knows when it’s time…and you will have the strength to do it.

And best of all…you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy.

It may not look like the most glamorous life….but it is one filled with joy, peace and harmony….one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion…one where worries are few…where long meaningful conversations are many…..one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there.

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts.

Is it time to simplify?

Simplify today…..one little thing at time. You can do it.

AND

Dear Wise Girl,

Having a rough day? Stop and take a breath, and remember it’s important to stick to the facts, because we often make things up in our heads that get us into a tizzy that is hard to get out of. Fears are mean little fabulists.

Think about everything you have feared in your life, or even for the last 30 days. Think about what you have feared for the last 24 hours, in fact. Think about the stories that you made up in your head about those fierce fears, about all of the terrible and scary and devastating things that surrounded those fears, about how if those things happened, they would surely ruin your life.

Now think about whether or not ANY of those things came to pass, and whether they really did devastate your life. Sure, some yucky things actually DO happen, but a large majority of our fears are stories that we make up in our heads that never ever happen. Yet we waste SO MUCH TIME on them. Aren’t we silly creatures?

So stick to the facts. And if the facts are harsh and look like they might yield some difficult consequences, think about the WORST thing that could possibly happen, and then ask yourself if you could live through it and be okay. See? YOU CAN! And YOU WILL!!

Because you are a brave, brave girl.

17. On Unplugging from Work & Embracing Adventure from Rowdy Kittens.

18. Dear Writers: None Of Us Know What The Fuck We’re Doing on Terrible Minds. tl;dr:

The Five Constants:
1. Write A Lot (And To Completion)
2. Read A Lot (And Read Critically When You Do)
3. Think About Writing And Storytelling
4. Talk To Writers
5. Go Live A Life

19. A Guy Secretly Filmed His Mom For A Year To Help Her Find A Boyfriend.

20. Practicing Non-Judgment on Zen Habits.

21. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s newsletter: Dear universe (form letter), and Karr to Syracuse grads: Don’t compare your twisted-up insides to others’ blow-dried outsides and a video of the same speech, and In a Mother’s Library, Bound in Spirit and in Print.

22. Video: 100 years of Aging a Soon-to-be Married Couple.

23. Man Cleans Up Entire River On His Way To Work.

24. The Last Day of Her Life, “When Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when?”

25. At the Coffeehouse by Jeff Oaks.

26. Melissa McCarthy has powerful words for image-obsessed Hollywood.

27. The Heart and the Bottle: A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions on Brain Pickings.

Something Good

comfortfood1. Wisdom from Rachel Cole: How to Make Peace with Food and Self-Compassion is a Verb.

2. Go for a Walk from Seth Godin.

3. we just don’t know (and that’s okay) on Your Courageous Life.

4. A new video poem from Shane Koyczan “Heaven, or Whatever.”

5. Breaking Up With Friends on Medium.

6. Unleashing Your Creativity: 17 Tips For Tapping Into The Power Of Your Brain.

7. The Body is Not an Apology website.

8. Blog Trends: Slow Blogging on decor8.

9. Listen, It’s Okay to Be Alone on Christmas from Brittany Herself.

10. i love what i do // 04 an interview with Mara Glatzel.

11. Wisdom from Kris Carr,

When we accept ourselves exactly as we are, in exactly this moment, we shift from living for tomorrow to appreciating today. Being at peace with what is creates a vast and holy space for healing.

Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up, it means that we love and honor ourselves regardless of our circumstances. From that relaxed and receptive space, we rest, renew and gain the clarity and strength needed to create a blueprint for a happy, healthy, abundant life.

12. 22 Pictures That Prove That 2014 Is The Damn Future on BuzzFeed.

13. Lovely ~ UPDATED from The Bloggess.

14. Narrating People’s Lives with Thomas Sanders compilation. Made me laugh.

15. Why I Hated My Word of the Year from Laura Simms.

16. How to Be a Ladyperson at the Holidays: 10 Important Tips. Funny.

17. How To Respond Compassionately To Someone’s Suffering from MindBodyGreen.

18. Fat Loss Tips for the Holidays from Yogi Sadie. Don’t let the title fool you.

19. Taking the Fear Out of Failure from Courtney Putnam.

20. Life in 700 square-feet from Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens.

21. 7 Regular Things All Healthy Couples Do.

22. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

If you have embarked on this journey of self-reflection, you may be at a place that everyone, sooner or later, experiences on the spiritual path. After a while it seems like almost every moment of your life you’re there, where you realize you have a choice. You have a choice whether to open or close, whether to hold on or let go, whether to harden or soften, whether to hold your seat or strike out. That choice is presented to you again and again and again.

23. #decembermoments: an advent calendar. sort of. on Chookooloonks.

24. Artist Transforms Old Paintbrushes Into Delicate Ladies on Bored Panda.

25. Wisdom from Jeff Foster,

Stop trying to change the world.
Love the world.
That changes everything.

26. Swiftamine – Saturday Night Live.

27. Police Deliver Groceries To Struggling Grandma Caught Shoplifting To Feed Family Of 6 on Huffington Post.

28. Shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend list: Fudgy Paleo Beetroot Brownies recipe, and We Never Met.

29. What’s the Best Book, New or Old, You Read This Year? on The New York Times, (shared by Tammy on her Happy Links list).

30. Making Merry on SouleMama. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I want them to adopt me.

31. “Feeling your Feelings” is not the full story… from Isabel Foxen Duke.

Something Good

littleganesh1. The Wild Call of Selfishness from Mara Glatzel, which says,

All of the good that you will do on this planet – all of the relationships you will build, work you will create, and lives that you will impact – relies squarely on how well you take care of yourself and how much space you allow yourself in your own life.

Also from Mara, In Service to Your Big Dream.

2. Weekend Treats are back on Visible and Real.

3. Note from the Universe, “Hey, Jill, what if, instead of waiting for everything to be perfect, we start living your dreams this week, to any degree we can?”

4. Thailand’s White Temple Looks Like It Came Down From Heaven from Bored Panda.

5. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

The purpose of healing is not to be forever happy; that is impossible. The purpose of healing is to be awake. And to live while you are alive instead of dying while you are alive. Healing is about being broken and whole at the same time. Healing is about opening our hearts, not closing them. It is about softening the places in us that won’t let love in. Healing is a process.

6. Good stuff from Viral Nova: Barefoot Street Performer Stuns The Audience With Her Soulful Voice, and Japanese Artist Delivers Beautiful Paper Works Of Art, and These 31 Google Street View Pictures Are Hilarious, and Tiny Houses That Are Cooler Than Mansions.

7. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

Through kindness, strength arises. Not force, control, defense, manipulation, or intimidation. Those strategies keep us disconnected, tense, and ultimately far more breakable. Whether you’re talking hamstrings or heart strings, the real power is in being kind. And real kindness requires you show up open and receptive to what is (vs what you want).

8. Good stuff from Upworthy: Some People Came Out With A Cool New Kind Of Poster. When You Hang It, People Cry From Happiness. and This Might Be Jon Stewart’s Best Rant Ever. Because Ferguson.

9. “Wild”: Telluride Review. I can’t wait to see this movie.

10. 3 Things I Know About Becoming a Writer on Be More With Less. Word.

11. 7 Discipline-Mastering Practices and How to Breathe on Zen Habits.

12. The 4-Year-Old’s Workday on McSweeney’s.

13. Support Jes Baker Creating World Change. I really want to see this work, for many reasons.

14. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Your Problems Are Blessings (really, do the exercise she suggests — it’s powerful), and Why One Life Hack Can Change Everything, and The interview Moment that changed Oprah’s Life (and mine).

15. My Facebook Friend Lived a Good Life and Then Died Too Soon on New York Observer.

16. Comic Strip of Alan Watts’ Lecture: “What If Money Was No Object?” (thanks for sharing the link, Sandi).

17. Reboot of Die Trying: One Man’s Year of Digital Detox from Outside Online.

18. Good stuff from Treehugger: Romantic tiny forest home built in 6 weeks for $4,000 and What would our homes look like if designed around how we use them?

19. The Most Amazing Stone Walls You Will See Today on Twisted Sifter.

20. Sit a Spell on SouleMama.

21. What no one wants to say about Ferguson!, a very Buddhist perspective on recent events.

22. A Life of Balance: Turn Off The News from Jack Kornfield.

23. This Is What It’s Like To Be An Unarmed Black Man In America from Funny or Die on Huffington Post.

24. This College Student Will Carry Around Her Dorm Mattress Until Her Alleged Rapist Is Punished.

25. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: How To Do Downward Dog (Cute Infographic!) and 30 Amazing Photos That Will Make You Wish You Were At Burning Man 2014.

26. Why You Might Be Asking the Wrong Question About Suicide from Todd Mitchell.

27. Navigate Your Life: Karen Walrond from Jennifer Louden.

28. How Can Men Help Prevent Sexual Assault? on The New York Times.

29. “The List Of Rules For Women” By Jay Smooth Gets Everything Right on Huffington Post.

30. IKEA’s 2015 Catalog Launch Is the Perfect Spoof of iPad Ads.

31. On wholeness & loving ourselves realistically from Susannah Conway.

32. White Trash Buddhist: Do you have to break the bank to break into the upper middle way? A Kentucky native shows us what practice looks like on minimum wage on Tricycle.

33. What This Puppy Does After Noticing The Old Dog Having A Nightmare Is ADORABLE! And At 0:42…OMG!

34. The place I want to get back to from Judy Clement Wall.

35. Shared on Chookooloonks’ this was a good week list: Naterade : Being good to each other is so important, guys, and The Myth of Effortless, and Jennifer Orkin Lewis on Lisa Congdon’s blog.

36. force creates fear, fear destroys trust… from Pia Jane Bijkerk.

37. I wrote an article no one wanted from Paul Jarvis, (thanks for sharing the link, Laura).

38. Abandon hope on Painted Path.

39. Us/Them from Dallas Clayton.

40. We Must Move Into Love from Sandi Amorim.

41. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Notes to self and What your days look like.

42. 23 Dog Thoughts That Will Change Your Outlook On Everyday Dog Life.

43. I went to the mountains and remembered why we have kids on Renegade Mothering.

44. 50 Essays Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person on Flavorwire.

45. Where good things happen from Christina Rosalie. *sigh*

Something Good

1. Stand Up For Burg! a gofundme campaign to help one of the best people, Amy McCracken, help her dog, the amazing Cheeseburger, get the surgery he needs to be able to get around, to ease his pain. If you want to read about the beginning of their love story, here’s what Amy wrote about the night they met. The love between a girl and her dog is a beautiful thing, (I should know), and the way that love can heal us is priceless.

burg

The Burg, (picture from the campaign page).

2. Good stuff from Seth Godin: Finding your peer group, and The artist who dances on the edge, and How will you choose your next project?

3. August Break, a 31 day photo challenge hosted by Susannah Conway. I’ve done this the past few years and it’s quite fun.

4. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club, on letting go.

What are you willing to let go of today? Life is so much about knowing what to hold on to, and what to let go of — and having faith that it will all work out in the end.

Your heart and your gut know exactly what you need to let go of, even if your brain is giving you all sorts of reasons to clamp your fingers around it. There are seasons and times to have different things, relationships and situations in your life, and then the seasons change and it’s time to let go of many of those things. Change is hard, but change is absolutely necessary.

We’ve all got to let go of old habits, old situations, old behaviors and sometimes even old relationships to make room for what is meant for the next part of our lives. If we just get quiet, get brave, and listen very closely, our hearts will tell us what to let go of. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. It just means that it is what is meant for now.

You can do this. Listen to your heart. Be brave.

5. Memories Do Not Burn from Smashed Picket Fences, (originally shared by Tammy in her Happy Links list).

6. Good stuff on Medium: The power of your writing: why you should write even if you think nobody is reading, and Call me a quitter: Just ask Vince Lombardi, and How a password changed my life, and Why I’m so negative about positivity, and 10 Things No One Tells Women about Turning 40 (thanks for sharing this last one, Lindsey).

7. Maya Stein’s 10-line Tuesday, because of this, and lines like this, “You need more light, not less,” and poems like this:

orientation
Just east of certainty. A little south of courage. A hair’s
width from ease. Clicks away from ready. A turn
or two from acceptance. A shuffle from faith. A set of stairs
from achievement. A riverbed from happiness. A handspan from
peace. A wink away from freedom. A few lines until the poem’s
done. A highway, a night’s sleep, a phone call, a touch, a rotation
of gears away from that certain yes that tells you where you are is
exactly where you need to be. I know, the signs can look as if they’re missing,
and the map so distant and unclear.
But I’m telling you, you aren’t lost. You’re never lost. You’re always here.

8. Mara Glatzel on delight, and more wisdom from yet another of her newsletters, (seriously, why haven’t you signed up for it yet?),

As women, we have a tendency to shrink. As a woman who spent many, many years believing that I had to apologize for my body or my intelligence or my wild spirit, the impulse is still alive and well, living in my muscle memory.

But, so is the restlessness of personal choice and self-responsiblity, of granting myself the permission to be exactly who I am, no matter what the circumstance.

9. A righteous conclusion about easing up on righteousness… from Danielle LaPorte.

10. don’t forget to eat (and knit) and cousin love from SouleMama.

11. Shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend list: Small Buddha Head Planter on Etsy and the oon power outlet.

12. Good stuff from Create as Folk: 23 Things You Didn’t Know About My Career and Create as Folk is Seeking Monthly Contributors.

13. Good stuff (as always) from Courtney Carver (author of Be More with Less): The Answer is Less, and Vulnerability is the Core of our Connection, and How to Create Heart Space (and why it’s a big deal), and The Tiny Guide to Parke Diem.

14. Wisdom from Zen Habits: The Painful Beauty of Impermanence and How to Change Other People.

15. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Recently, in a friend’s kitchen I saw on the wall a quotation from one of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s talks, which said: “Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior can make a proper cup of tea.”

I was struck by it because when I read it I realized that I myself have some kind of preference for stillness. The notion of holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart rang true, but I realized I didn’t do that; at least, I had a definite preference for the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. My reference point was always to be awake and to live fully, to remember the Great Eastern Sun—the quality of being continually awake. But what about holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart at the same time?

The quotation really made an impression on me. It was completely true: if you can live with the sadness of human life (what Rinpoche often called the tender heart or genuine heart of sadness), if you can be willing to feel fully and acknowledge continually your own sadness and the sadness of life, but at the same time not be drowned in it, because you also remember the vision and power of the Great Eastern Sun, you experience balance and completeness, joining heaven and earth, joining vision and practicality.

16. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 20 Habits Happy People Have (But Never Talk About) and 12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans.

17. Good stuff on Chookooloonks: forty-seven and how to live a perfect life in three easy steps, (which might just be one of the most important blog posts of all time).

18. Wisdom from Ann Patchett, “Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”

19. We from Rachel Cole, (also might just be one of the most important blog posts of all time — two on one list!).

20. Vegan Blogger’s Unusual Eating Disorder Shocks Followers.

21. Colbie Caillat – Try. Thank goodness, cause I stop trying a long time ago.

22. Writers at Work, shared by Austin Kleon.

23. Vivid Foods, “joy in a jar.”

24. You Say “Flawed”, He Says “Sexy”: What Men Really Think About Your Body from My Tiny Secrets.

25. Beautiful floral art, shared by The Cool Hunter: Flower Paintings by Thomas Darnell (the peonies! *swoon*) and amazing hanging installations from Rebecca Louise Law.

26. Note from the Universe, “The greatest perk, among countless others, Jill, that comes from loving someone right now, just exactly as they are, instead of waiting for them to change, is that you get to love someone right now.”

27. The truth behind the tweet from Kat McNally.

28. Keep Coming Back on 27 Powers, just one of the 27,000 reasons I will sometimes spontaneously text Laurie to tell her how much I adore her.

29. positive choices: lessons from 4 years of sobriety from Positively Present. And shared on her Positively Present Picks list, An epic guide to developing self-awareness: how to improve your leadership skills by understanding yourself.

30. A recipe for Blueberry Hand Pies, shared in this sweet post by Biscuits and Bobbins.

31. A message about miracles from Brave Girls Club,

Take some time today to see the miracles that have unfolded in your life.

If there was a time when you thought you could not make it ONE more day, and you did — that was an enormous blessing and a grand miracle created just for you.

If there was a time that you thought your heart might just break, and that you would never be the same, but you made it — that was a beautiful miracle of love just for you.

If there was a time you never thought thatyou would reach the goal you had worked so hard for, and you finally did — recognize the miracle inside of that experience.

We never walk alone. Miracles are unfolding every minute of our lives — miracles meant for our joy and for beauty and heart-peace. Take them for what they are meant to be and enjoy your life. Know that the miracles will not stop happening, that you are never alone on your journey.

The miracles are there…reminding you that you are loved.

32. This Human of New York, on Brittnay, Herself, (also a contender for one of the most important blog posts of all time, which if you are keeping score is three in this list!).

33. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving My 185 Pound Body on Huffington Post.

34. Relax, a beautiful poem by by Ellen Bass,

Bad things are going to happen.
Your tomatoes will grow a fungus
and your cat will get run over.
Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream
melting in the car and throw
your blue cashmere sweater in the drier.
Your husband will sleep
with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling
out of her blouse. Or your wife
will remember she’s a lesbian
and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat–
the one you never really liked–will contract a disease
that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth
every four hours. Your parents will die.
No matter how many vitamins you take,
how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys,
your hair and your memory. If your daughter
doesn’t plug her heart
into every live socket she passes,
you’ll come home to find your son has emptied
the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb,
and called the used appliance store for a pick up–drug money.
There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger.
When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs half way down. But there’s also a tiger below.
And two mice–one white, one black–scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.
She looks up, down, at the mice.
Then she eats the strawberry.
So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely.
Oh taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.

35. Kacy Catanzaro at the 2014 Dallas Finals | American Ninja Warrior.

36. Even Cancer Couldn’t Keep Me from WDS: 12 Lessons from the 2014 World Domination Summit from Zen Psychiatry.

37. No wedding, no problem: 4-yr-old turns flower girl dreams into a reality.

38. Wisdom from Susan Piver, one of the wisest, most compassionate humans I know,

There is so much to be sad about in this world. Because it is so uncomfortable, we immediately want to turn sadness into what we imagine will hurt less: anger, hopelessness, helplessness. When the wish to help is rooted in anger, it will only create more confusion. And of course, when we feel hopeless or helpless, we take refuge in non-action, which also creates confusion. When we allow sadness, action arises from love.

Be brave. Be sad.

39. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, “Relentless attempts to be thin take you father away from what could end your suffering: getting back in touch with who you really are.”

40. One last piece of wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts.

Is it time to simplify? Is it time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you, and let the rest go so that . . . you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things . . . instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place?

Your heart knows when it’s time, and you will have the strength to do it. And best of all you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy.

It may not look like the most glamorous life, but it is one filled with joy, peace and harmony . . . one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion . . . one where worries are few and where long meaningful conversations are many . . . one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there.

Simplify today, one little thing at time. You can do it. You are loved.

Something Good

1. Creating a Lovely Morning on Zen Habits.

2. Wisdom from Fr. Alfred D’Souza, a quote shared by Courtney Carver,

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last in dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

3. Also from Courtney, on Be More With Less, 3 Simple Ways to Be More Creative (and why it’s important).

4. Eight ways to be (more) here and (more) happy on A Design So Vast.

5. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

In my experience, one of the greatest litmus tests of spiritual maturation –that is, how well your practice is working–comes when we bump up against the challenges. Embodying–in thought, word, and deed–what it is you profess to practice/study is easy when life goes according to your plan. But the real measure–and arguably, the greatest teacher–arises from our responses to life’s inevitable disappointments, frustrations, and obstacles. If your response to difficult times is to react (re-act, reproduce) with the same old habitual behavior, based on worn out, old narratives about yourself (or others), then your practice becomes that much more vital; your practice can be what creates space and awareness between the feelings we have and the conclusion we draw about them. If you can remain consciously committed to your center, your Self, when the rug gets pulled up beneath you…and you can be kind and spacious and patient when things don’t go “your way,” you will come to know your progress more honestly than any other time.

6. What in the world is a “blog hop”? from Two Poppies Creative.

7. Green in May on SouleMama.

8. What Happens When You Sing An 800 Year Old Icelandic Hymn In A Train Station? THIS.

9. Wisdom from Maya Angelou, “In the flush of love’s light we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.”

10. the (sacred) art of breaking yourself open from Justine Musk.

11. Baby’s first LOL.

12. Wisdom from Lao Tzu, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

13. These 7 Simple Photos Reduced Me To Heartbroken Tears. I Never Saw It Coming. on Viral Nova.

14. Wisdom from Geneen Roth, “Forgiving yourself expresses a willingness to learn from your fragility and your fallibility instead of pretending that they are not there,” and,

Of this I am certain: Something happens every time I stop fighting with the way things are. Something happens to every one of my students when they stop running their familiar programs about fear and deficiency and emptiness. I don’t know what to call this turn of events or the freshness that follows it but I know what it feels like: it feels like relief. It feels like infinite goodness. Like a distillation of every sweet fragrance, every astonishing beauty and every haunting melody you’ve ever heard . It feels like the essence of tenderness compassion joy peace dark starry night dazzling day. Like love itself. And in the moment you feel it you recognize that you are it and that you’ve been here all along, waiting for your return.

15. What hill running, meditation and achieving your dreams have in common from Life is Limitless.

16. A man, a photo and the long search to find the person in it, a story on Sports Illustrated about a picture from Humans of New York.

17. How to Not Go Insane Being an Artist on Indie Kindred.

18. How To Get A Whole Lot Of Sh*t Done In A Day on MindBodyGreen.

19. A Talk with Patrick McDonnell, coauthor of Guardians of Being, (and one of my favorite cartoonists).

20. Yoga with Adriene. I really like her teaching style, and she’s got some great free videos, if you are interested in practicing alone but with instruction.

21. Got Blogger’s Block? Here Are 50 Ways To Kick Its Ass! from Gala Darling, (shared by Britt Bravo on Facebook).

22. 13 Famous Writers on Overcoming Writer’s Block on Flavorwire, (shared by Britt Bravo on Facebook).

23. This is a commercial for Chevy, and it’s pretty sweet.

Something Good

1. 3 yrs ago you were evicted from 20 Catherine St 13B. I have your dog. (newyork.craigslist.org) on Elephant Journal. “P.S. you can’t have her back.”

2. Buddhist Cave Temples Are Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous on Huffington Post. I want to go to there.

3. At the cusp between wonder and fact from Christina Rosalie, one of the most beautiful writers alive, in more ways than one.

4. Young people swap clothes with grandparents and parents for charming, fascinating photos.

5. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

You don’t need to know everything. You just need to be in love with what you trust in your bones, and be free enough in that not to break each time the world whispers a new truth in your ear.

6. Wisdom from Elana Miller at Zen Psychiatry,

Life is precious, even when it’s imperfect, painful, and sad. Especially when it’s imperfect, painful, and sad.

7. Wisdom from Thich Nhat Hahn, “Only the present moment contains life.”

8. 22 Adorable Before And After Pictures Of Animals Growing Up on Bored Panda.

9. While I’m gone from Rachel Cole.

10. Wisdom from Unknown, “Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, and my kindness for weakness.”

11. My New Favorite Thing, a recipe for chickpea fries that looks delicious.

12. Slippery Slope from XKCD.

13. Wonderland from SouleMama.

14. Wounda’s Journey: Jane Goodall releases chimpanzee into forest.

15. Easiest Brussels Sprouts Recipe You’ll Ever Make on MindBodyGreen. One of my favorite ways to eat Brussel Sprouts.

16. Having Kids: Expectations Vs. Reality on BuzzFeed.

17. Renegade Mothering. I’m not a mom of humans, but I love the perspective of this blog, appreciate the humor and the wisdom.

18. 10 Ways To Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Lessons from my book Show Your Work! Austin Kleon on Medium. My copy should arrive any day now.

19. Stop Resisting: Surrender to Your Body to Transform It and Your Life on Tiny Buddha.

20. On What Disturbs, Then Nourishes by Dani Shapiro, (thanks to Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links list for the link).

21. 5 Spiritual Lessons I Learned From Obsessing Over Food, Isabel Foxen Duke on MindBodyGreen.

22. 15 Powerful Beliefs that Will Free You from Negativity from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

23. Letting Go: What it means. How to do it. on Elephant Journal.

24. And, just because baby elephants are stupid cute, (from Reddit). Stupid cute = Someone or something that is so attractive it disrupts your ability to intelligently process information while looking at it, something so unbelievably cute it makes you stupid.

babyelephant