Tag Archives: The Conversation

Something Good

1. 75 ways to live a positively present life from Positively Present.

2. Karen Walrond at TEDxHouston 2012, shared on Upworthy in their post This Is Why Your Lover Thinks You’re Gorgeous In A Holey T-Shirt And Sweatpants. I recommend her blog too, maybe start with this recent post, random thoughts: on happiness, gratitude & meaning. She’s a speaker, photographer, writer, and all around superwoman “wildly convinced you’re uncommonly beautiful.”

3. Sh*t Hipsters Say.

4. This wisdom from Aart Van Der Leeuw,

The mystery of life
is not a problem to
be solved,
but a reality
to be experienced.

5. When I Read This I Think of You and 10 Things to Do When You Get Up Before the Sun on Elephant Journal.

6. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

7. Wisdom from J.M. Porup, “The job of the writer isn’t to answer questions. The job of the writer is to ask the questions for which there are no answers.”

8. The Daily Life of a Grandma and Her Odd-Eyed Cat, a sweet series of photos by Miyoko Ihara on demilked.

image by Miyoko Ihara

9. The World’s Top 10 Most Unusual Bonsai Trees.

10. One of my favorite websites, Humans of New York, now has a theme song, and I have a new favorite band.

11. This wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, and what she said about morning.

12. 11 Habits You Need to Give Up to Be Happy and 7 Effective Ways Happy People Think from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

13. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : make peace, and your daily rock : recharge your soul, and your daily rock : wholeheartedly.

14. What if the Gift is the Ending? We Can Reimagine Our Lives? from Rachael Maddox.

15. Just Because He Breathes: Learning to Truly Love Our Gay Son on Huffington Post. On her website’s about page, this mom says,

Although I am a Christian, I feel broken-hearted by the things that the church in America has become most known for. You will never find me marching in a parade against gay rights, abortion rights or immigrant rights. I do not resonate with those who are known for being AGAINST things, especially when what it amounts to is being against people’s hearts and souls.

16. How to Enjoy a Chore-less Weekend from Be More with Less.

17. Turning kindness inward, what Judy Clement Wall had to say about her Self-Compassion Saturday post.

18. How to Let Go: 5 Essential Tips on the Positivity Blog.

19. Home Retreat: The Practice of Doing Exactly What You Want from Susan Piver.

20. “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~Gloria Steinem

21. Wisdom from Natalie Goldberg,

There is no ultimate goal in meditation. Meditation is an acceptance of the mind, however it comes to you. And the mind changes all the time, just as the ocean waves change. Sometimes the water is turbulent, sometimes calm. Thoughts rise and then disappear; you don’t grab hold of them. The heart beats, the lungs breathe, and the mind continues to produce thoughts. Even if you’ve practiced for a long time, it will still produce thoughts, but you’re no longer thrown by them. You don’t have control of your mind; it goes where it wants to go. But with practice, you can have a relationship with it.

22. Discipline, devotion & dazzling charm: what I learned from three of the most famous bloggers in the world from Alexandra Franzen.

23. Wisdom from the book Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong by Norman Fischer,

We admire people who are wealthy, famous, or skillful in some way, but it’s not hard to be like that. If you are born with some talent, a little luck, and you know the right people, you can do that. Many people do that. Much more difficult and much more wonderful is to be a bodhisattva. Not someone that many people know about and talk about but someone who has the almost magical power of spreading happiness and confidence wherever he goes. What a vision for your life, for your family, to be a light for those around you! To think of everything you do, every action, every social role, every task, as being just a cover for, an excuse for, your real aspiration, to be a bodhisattva, spreading goodness wherever you go. This requires no luck (even if everything goes wrong in your life, you can do it), no special skills, no need to meet special people and get special breaks. We can all do this. This is the aspiration we should all cultivate for training the mind.

24. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

When I was younger, “being different” cost too much. I did anything I could to fit in. These days, “being normal” costs too much. I’m not willing to fit in with the pack, if it costs me my soul, my strength, and my reason for being. I didn’t come here to duck. I came here to fly.

25. Becoming More Authentic: Accept Yourself and Stop Seeking Approval on Tiny Buddha.

26. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

For any spiritual training or mental activity, we need concentration. Learning how to concentrate makes our minds strong, clear, and calm. Concentration protects our inner wisdom, like a candle flame sheltered from the wind. If our minds are cluttered with plans, concerns, thoughts, and emotional patterns, we have no space for our true selves.

And

Learning to live in the moment is a great and powerful skill that will help us in everything we do. To ‘‘be here now,’’ relaxed and engaged in whatever we are doing, is to be alive and healthy. In Buddhism, the awareness of what is happening right now is called mindfulness.

27. Every place is under the stars, a really great quote shared on A Design So Vast.

28. Appreciating My “Regular” Job and 50 Ways You Can Be Brave Today on The Self-Compassion Project.

29. Twenty seconds away from more joy! on Cherry Blossom Soup.

30. Whitney Cummings on The Conversation

31. From Brave Girls,

Today we have a sweet little challenge for you. What if for the next 24 hours, you focus on what is right, and not waste a single minute thinking about what is wrong? What if you run towards what you want, instead of running away from what you don’t want? What if you notice the beautiful little miracles and ignore the big distractions. What if you listen to the voice inside of you and let all of the other voices go? Just for 24 hours? Will you take us up on it? We suspect that it might just end up being one of the best days of your life. Enjoy it! Every single second of it! You are so loved. xoxo

32. Wisdom from Mr. Rogers, “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”

33. Mark Bittman’s Spicy Cheddar Shortbread recipe. I make a biscuit like this that my friends call “crack biscuits,” so I am totally going to try this one.

34. From Positively Present Picks: How to let go of your ego, How to buy happiness, and A Dad had some weird conversations with his two-year-old daughter. So he reenacted them with two grown men, (two new episodes!).

35. From Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links: Xanthe Berkeley Photos and Films, which led to this, her video set on Vimeo — really beautiful work.

36. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: honeysuckle biscuits with sea salt peach butter + honeysuckle mint vinaigrette, gorgeous food, luscious recipe.

37. Lots of new episodes on Why We Rescue.

38. When Facebook Likes Meet Real Life, Things Get … Complicated on Upworthy.

39. This wisdom from Hafiz, “You yourself are your own obstacle – rise above yourself.”

40. This wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention, which is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and we want to ripen our ability to let go. Everything in our lives can wake us up or put us to sleep, and basically it’s up to us to let it wake us up.

Something Good

1. If You Have Unrequited Dreams, You’re Probably Making Some of These Mistakes from Life After Tampons.

2. New Origami Street Art by Mademoiselle Maurice on Bored Panda.

3. I hope you wake with a gasp, a thousand flutters in your heart, a 10-Line Tuesday poem from my new favorite poet, Maya Stein.

I hope you wake with a gasp, a thousand flutters in your heart **
Not from the whirlpool of worry. Not from a bad dream.
Not from a deadline or a string of demands, or the great to-do
of the still-to-be-done. Not from the lopsided weight of futility and failure
or some wayward mutiny shaking your bones. Not from the loss
of letting go or the grief of giving in. Not from the illusions of your metaphorical
imprisonment or escape. Not from grass-is-greener or anywhere-but-here.
I hope, instead, you rise from the tremble of something finding its edges,
earthquaking its way into being. That riotous pulsing of birth, and the cry that comes
just after, the lungs taking in their first overwhelmed breaths. That same lucid
sweetness of entry and release. The song of your life being sung.

** I stole this line from Jean Reinhold’s latest writing in her must-read blog: http://jcreinhold.blogspot.com/

4. NOW I know why my finger bleeds like a %*##@ when I get a paper cut, from Reddit.com. Eric emailed me the link to this image and said “it looks like a tree.” (Have I told you lately how much I love him?)

wearetrees

5. This wisdom, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Chinese Proverb.

6. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : ask the question. wait for the answer and your daily rock : you belong.

7. My weiner dog kind of looks like snoop from Reddit. Makes me smile, every time.

snoopdog

8. Twelve Habits of Happy, Healthy People Who Don’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Peace from I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog.

9. This wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

By just allowing our minds to be caring, peaceful, and relaxed, our daily activities and work—even our breathing—can become part of our healing practice and we will gain strength spontaneously. If we are open to it, our ordinary life will turn into a life of healing. Then, even though we may not be spending hours in formal sitting meditation, our life will be meditation in action.

10. Judge Less: mini-mission and Why You Should Give Away 50% of Your Stuff from Be More With Less.

11. How To Stop Making A Big Deal About Your Problems, Pema Chödrön on MindBodyGreen.

12. From Brave Girls Club,

Dear Gorgeous Girl,

Chances are, you are needing some rest right now…after all, being brave is hard and exhausting work.

Would it be so bad it you took a little break and let yourself recharge? Of course it wouldn’t be a bad thing….to the contrary, it would be a VERY GOOD thing for you to do, especially if you can’t even remember the last time you let yourself rest for a little while.

Choose a good, uplifting book and let yourself read it without interruption, take a hot bath….get under the covers for an afternoon nap. You’ve got to recharge or you will burn out…it’s just a fact of life. This doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are human…and little breaks here and there are an essential part of a productive life.

Enjoy some time to yourself…you deserve it. You are loved. xoxo

13. Jamie King on The Conversation: Listen to Your Intuition.

14. “What you teach is what you are. You don’t teach by telling people things.” ~Milton Glaser

15. “Does one really have to fret about enlightenment? No matter what road I travel I’m going home.” ~Shinsho

16. This wisdom from Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance,

New meditation students often mention the value of learning to focus and settle the mind, but they also name something more basic. As one person put it recently, “Just having those moments to be quiet is a gift to my soul.” It is a gift to the soul. Stepping out of the busyness, stopping our endless pursuit of getting somewhere else, is perhaps the most beautiful offering we can make to our spirit.

17. The Time You Have Left (in Jelly Beans) from ZeFrank

18. Like dollhouse rooms left abandoned, a poem from Lisa Bonchek Adams. *sob*

19. What If I Feel Like Giving Up On Self-Acceptance? from Anna Guest-Jelley on Curvy Yoga.

20. More new to me music, Royals from Lorde, shared by my friend Aaryn. Also new to me, what I’ve been listening to for the past few days, the band Daughter, specifically the Daughter radio station on Last.fm.

21. An interesting perspective from Notes from the Universe, “Anger is almost always a sign, Jill, that you’ve been quiet for too long.”

22. “Too sexy for the Internet?” 3 questions to help you decide which stories & shots to reveal — and which to keep sealed in a vault! from Alexandra Franzen. I think these questions work when you are considering anything you put on the internet, sexy or not.

23. Thinking about money from Seth Godin.

24. Wisdom from Tiny Buddha: After Tragedy: 3 Reasons And 21 Ways To Bring Joy Back into Your Life and Why We Need to Create Our Own “Normal”

25. Thoughts to contemplate from Raam Dev:

Live as though your life can make a difference, because it does. What difference it makes though is entirely up to you.

and

You have no idea what you’re capable of until you’ve done it, or until you’ve truly failed trying to do it. If unsure, fail again.

26. This wisdom from J.K. Rowling, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”

27. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: 30 Important Websites For Highly Sensitive People, Master of Pen and Ink: The Monumental Drawings of Manabu Ikeda, and this wisdom from Arianna Huffington,

“I was lucky in that I had a mother that was full of this colloquial wisdom and she used to say to me ‘You know, failure is not the opposite of success, it’s the stepping stone to success. There is nobody who has not failed along the way.’ So I think its very important for young women, especially as they are starting in life, to recognize that because otherwise, they only see people’s success. So, when I speak, I speak of my failures.”

28. From Positively Present PicksCalm.com, 50 Life Hacks Your Future Self Will Thank You For, Major Radical Self Love Bible Inspiration! (what a great idea! and am realizing I already started making one of these, just didn’t know what it was called), Skillshare, and a reminder of this site, Tattly.

29. Pissed Off And Purposeful: Why Radical Self Love Incurred My Wrath This Morning from Gala Darling, (can’t wait to see her interview on Good Life Project).

30. A process for How to Never do Anything You Don’t Want to do Ever Again from Sas Petherick, in her July Love Note, (you really should sign up for her newsletter).

31. Defining Self-Care from Pittsburg PhD, one of my favorite people.

Something Good

1. Before and After, a beautiful poem and image from Vivienne McMaster.

2. This quote from C.G. Jung, “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

3. Be Cool & Don’t Be An Assh*le on Elephant Journal. I love this. At the entrance to my paid work office, I have two postcards. One says “Don’t be a jerk” and the other says “The time is now.”

4. We All Die and How I am Finally Becoming the Person I Betrayed at 19 from Girl on Fire.

5. The confrontation waiting to happen, wisdom from Seth Godin.

6. Andrea Scher’s start a foolish project on Jessica Swift’s blog, (Andrea’s new course, Start a Foolish Project, starts on July 1st, so there’s still time to register).

7. Speaking of foolish projects, this weird and wonderful ninja art installation I discovered on our morning walk. I have no idea what it means, but I give you “Plastic Animal Butts.”

8. Bryan Kest: A different kind of yoga teacher on The Examiner. This is the kind of yoga teacher I want, want to become. Just some of his wisdom shared in this article,

“Most people bring their shit to yoga and turn their yoga into shit.”

“Yoga is meant to free us from our agenda,” he explained, but most people bring their agenda to class. In yoga our body is talking to us. Most people aren’t listening because they’re trying to make the pose a certain way. Your job is to quiet your mind and figure out where you should be in the pose.”

“The only thing yoga will tell you is wake the f#?k up.”

9. The Practicality of Forgiveness from Create as Folk, pure wisdom from Laura Simms.

10. Validating your pain is the first step to getting stronger, wisdom from Danielle LaPorte.

11. The Best Foods To Help You Eat The Rainbow & Boost Your Energy on MindBodyGreen.

12. Make Me: Paper Patchwork Art on Decor8. I am itching to try this. As you may or may not know, I have an aunt who is an amazing fabric artist and I have a large collection of quilts, bordering on obsession, and yet I am not a seamstress myself, haven’t yet learned the art form — but scissors, glue and paper I could do.

13. Reasons to Avoid the Beach from Jason Good.

14. 6 Conversations You Need To Have With Yourself and 4 Reasons to Hold On a Little Longer from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

15. Spit & Polish: Romping with Laurie Wagner from Jennifer Louden. I’m registered for this workshop, knocking on wood and keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out and I get to go. These are two powerful, compassionate and wise teachers.

16. Everything you could want for a nuclear fallout from Kleenex to unappetizing cans of ‘multi-purpose food’: California couple discover perfectly preserved 1961 fallout shelter 15 feet below their backyard.

17. 15 “Summer Camp Style” Friendship Bracelets You Can Make Right Now. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I’m still a sucker for these.

18. The Unicorn: A Motel, A Metaphor + Meth from Feed Me Darling.

19. On Getting (and Using) Another Chance, an older post from Lisa Congdon that’s worth another look.

20. Some Fucking Writing Tips from Matt Haig, (obviously if you are bothered by the language in the title, do not read this post).

21. How I Got Fired from the Job I Invented from Turner Barr. Idea theft, intellectual property robbery at its worst.

22. 10 Vegan Foods Packed with Protein from One Green Planet.

23. Healthy Living: Part Two from Decor8.

24. 5 Of The Coolest And Most Powerful POV’S On The Block (And Why This Matters To Your Business) from Jac McNeil.

25. 344 Illustrated Flowcharts to Find Answers to Life’s Big Questions on Brain Pickings.

26. Amber Valletta: Blaze Your Own Trail on The Conversation.

27. A Better Way to Die: Bringing together medicine and spirituality for end-of-life care, shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list.

28. Who to Fall in Love with First: 6 Ways to Love Yourself and 9 Ways You May Unwittingly Deprive Yourself of Love and Fulfillment on Tiny Buddha.

29. Living the Tiny Home Life: An Interview With Tammy Strobel on Mother Earth News.

30. This quote, shared by Positively Present Picks, “Now and then its good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy” ~Guillaume Apollinaire.

31. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Naturally Ella, this tempeh sandwich recipe from Thug Kitchen, and How to Make an Origami Elephant.

32. She’s Fierce. She’s Blunt. And Sadly, She’s Also Right. on Upworthy.

33. Dharma 101: Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. {eBooklet} on Elephant Journal.

Something Good

summereddyhall

1. This wisdom from Kristen Noelle’s Trust Notes,

And I sit here with these many things, getting quiet. Leaning into silence. I’m listening for what wants to be said, and the only thing that arises is this sense that we need holding space.

Holding space where more mental processing isn’t required.
Holding space for the feelings that arise – often in combinations that surprise and confound us.
Holding space where more lists of what to do, or what not to do, or how to get more healthy feel moot somehow. Not stupid – just not needed right now.
Holding space for stillness.
Holding space for not-striving.
Holding space for noticing our breath.

It’s not a checking out of life, a numbing to it. But rather a pause to simply be.

2. This wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

Going after your dreams isn’t about “getting things done.” It’s about being “undone,” letting go of limiting assumptions, forgiving yourself deeply, falling in love with yourself, your life, your consciousness and your gifts. It’s a process, not a race.

And this,

Have things gotten harder lately? You are walking through fire. These times will burn away the false. Only the real and true remains. You cannot be diffuse and potent at the same time. The fire times burn off everything that does not match your soul.

3. Good Life Project “Living Creed.”

glplivingcreed

4. My Creative Joy : Fabric from Rachel Cole, (hey look, Rachel, you’re in the top ten again!). I am afraid to go near a fabric store. As the daughter of a seamstress and the niece of a quilter and many other crafty women, I know that it’s only a matter of time before I am similarly obsessed — I want to make stuff!

5. Old Spock battles New Spock in the greatest car commercial ever

6. 59 Awesome FREE things to do to Feel Amazingly Alive, from The Freedom Experiment.

7. 10 Ways to Stop Overeating Today from Anne-Sophie.

8. Two heartbreaking, sweet videos from the Black Forest Fire, Baby Deer Rescued By Firefighter and Touching reunion between fire evacuee & his horse.

9. Habits: A Simple Change in Mindset Changes Everything from Zen Habits.

10. This wisdom from Brave Girls Club

You are doing so many good things. You are going so many wonderful directions. You are spreading so much goodness and kindness and wild-happy energy.

You are making goals and dreaming dreams and trying to do even better than you did yesterday.

You are thinking about people you love and how you can serve them, you are a loyal friend and family member. You are making an enormous difference in the lives of all who know you, and in so many lives you don’t even know about too.

It’s time to give yourself a break. time to stop and thank your body and your soul for everything it does to keep you going. This would be a great weekend to do just that . . . give yourself a break. Pat yourself on the back and take a nap and a hot bath. Even eat some chocolate! 🙂

Sure, there are still lots of things for you to work on, and you will get to that. You are doing great, and sometimes you just have to stop and let yourself breathe, evaluate, rest, recharge, restore.

Take good care of yourself, fabulous friend. We need all of the fabulousness of you!

11. This cuteness from Reddit. An elephant, a dog, and the ocean in the background, it really doesn’t get much better — unless of course there are two dogs, and a pie.

elephantwithdoghead

12. Baby Sea Lion Climbs Onto Boat For Some Snuggle Time.

13. From Patti Digh’s Thinking Thursday list: Stocking Your Refrigerator for Everyday Healthy Meals.

14. This is what your supermarket would look like if all the bees died off, heartbreaking pictures from Grist.

15. Gaiman’s New ‘Ocean’ Is No Kiddie Pool, an interview with the author, one of my favorites, on NPR. I want this book.

16. Christina Hendricks Should Lose a Few Pounds.* on Elephant Journal.

17. Brody Dalle on The Conversation.

18. Angry is a habit from Seth Godin.

19. 11 Tips & Tricks for Mindful Writers on Elephant Journal.

20. your daily rock : open up

21. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, how I want my daughter to look.

22. From Positively Present Picks: 10 Small Ways to Make This The Happiest Summer of Your Life, and Can A Number Determine Your Fate? What Numerology Can Tell You About Your Life Purpose (which led me to this, because apparently I’m a 7), and Yay! Magnets, love them.

yaylovemagnet23. This wisdom from Umair Haque, “Your life will never feel true unless you fuck it up whenever it feels like a lie.”

24. Do you realise how extraordinary your story is? from Marianne Elliott.

25. This cool post on Reddit, Photographer James Mollison took photos of fans from a bunch of different concerts to show how people will emulate their idols. The photos are amazing. We are all so gloriously weird.

26. C. Jane Kendrick: Weight loss never promised peace: Why I exercise without expectations.

27. Bob Dylan´s HAND LETTERING EXPERIENCE from Senna. I really want to try something like this.

28. When It’s Time for Coziness and Comfort, a really great list on the Mojo Lab.

29. The internet IS real life, from Nextness. All I can say is “amen.”

Something Good

1. 31 Unmistakable Signs That You’re An Introvert on BuzzFeed.

2. Working with the Obstacles in Your Path and 6 Steps To Being More Creative on Zen Habits.

3. less stuff, less stress: 6 steps to declutter + destress on Positively Present.

4. Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes on BBC News Magazine. If I were planning on having kids, I might start looking into moving to Finland.

5. Sad Dog Diary from ZeFrank.

6. Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was on Messy Nessy. I feel like I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth another look. It’s a fascinating story, and as a relatively unknown artist myself, for me it is a terrifying story, (to die and have no one know about your work?!).

7. dipping my toes in the ladypreneurial pond, useful and good real advice from Sas Petherick.

8. “My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness.” ~Virginia Woolf. Yes, yes it does.

9. your daily rock : be gentle with your self, from Patti Digh.

10. Eye Candy: The Pantone Project on Pugly Pixel. This project is so cool, and I have since started following the photographer, Paul Octavious, on Instagram and his other work is worth a look as well.

11. Kaleidoscape: A Study in Double Symmetry, a really cool “museum exhibition and social furniture project,” (led in part by Andrea Scher‘s super talented husband, Matthew Passmore).

12. The 5000th post from Seth Godin. “For me, the privilege is sharing what I notice, without the pressure of having to nail it every time… I treasure the ability to say, ‘this might not work.’ ” I’ve written 710 posts, can’t even imagine 5000, and yet I absolutely understand what he’s saying here. As a writing practice, there’s really nothing like it.

13. Becoming Well-Fed with Soulsister, Rachel Cole on the Soul Sisters Gathering website.

14. This wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.

15. 20 More Baby Animals That’ll Make You Say “Aww” from Bored Panda.

16. Good advice from Franz Kafka, “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

17. Tumblr Gets Deep (25 Pics) on Pleated Jeans. There is a whole series of these posts, super funny and addictive. I don’t recommend going too deep into them if you don’t have a lot of time. I myself could get lost there, forever happy in funny land.

18. H&M’s NBD Approach To Plus-Size Model Shocks, Astounds World, on xojane, which says, “How to be beautiful naked: stand in front of a mirror, naked, and say to yourself, ‘My body is as unique as I am. It does not, and will not ever, look like any other body on earth, and that’s why it’s my favorite.’ ” I love that, couldn’t agree more, and yet am still bothered by the fact that “Jennie Runk is a size 10, which equals plus size for the purpose of the modeling industry.” Ugh.

19. Joy, a post Lisa Congdon wrote about her wedding, in which she says, “I have never felt so totally whole as I did that afternoon & evening.” I want this, for everyone.

20. This wisdom from Geneen Roth,

I was remembering yesterday what one of my beloved teachers once told me: that I was protecting myself from losses that already happened. I was remembering this because I was noticing how my mind tilts toward catastrophe, how even when things are fine, I look for how they are not. And remembering that the big losses, the ones that I was helpless and small and utterly unprepared for had already happened, allowed me to come back to the present. Which was good.

It’s not that losses don’t happen in the present. It’s not that there isn’t sadness or grief here. They do and there is. But as adults, it’s different. It’s different when you keep imagining how horrible it is or will be than when you are right in the middle of sadness or grief. As children, we might not have been able to get comfort. There might not have been anyone to whom we could truly speak or be ourselves. As adults, we have love in our lives. Our hearts break, and then they break open. And more comes in. Notice how you protect yourself from losses that have already happened. Notice how that closes your heart. Notice if, today, you can be with the raw beauty, and sometimes, broken-heartedness of the moment.

21. The Hidden Cost of Doing the Wrong Work on Create as Folk. This post cuts right through the crap and gets to the heart of the issue.

22. fed by everything, a poem by Tara Sophia Mohr, which ends like this,

In the end
maybe enlightenment
is a matter of being fed
by everything

23. Books to Inspire your Be Your Own Beloved Journey! from Vivienne McMaster. I already have some of these, but there are a few that are new to me, ones I clearly need to read.

24. 41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius on BuzzFeed.

25. Recipe I want to try: Grilled Polenta Cakes from Campfire Vegan.

26. Allison Mae Photography does it again. These two dogs remind me so much of my Sam and Dexter.

27. Trade Up for Your Best Life on Be More with Less.

28. Shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list:

29. 30 Places You’d Rather Be Sitting Right Now on BuzzFeed. I don’t know about “rather be sitting” but they are pretty awesome.

30. Sarah DeAnna: Breaking the Cycle on The Conversation.

31. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list:

32. Pat the Cat. Reminds me of my Sam.

33. Wisdom from Marianne Williamson, “The ways of spirit are not the ways of sacrifice, but rather a way of opening yourself fully to the infinite glories of the universe. The glories are there. They merely await your acceptance.”

34. Patti Digh’s story about Tess on 3x3x365 is so sweet, so heartbreaking. Tess has Asperger’s Syndrome and Patti is generous enough to share her story. Watching that little girl walk through the world, navigate the bumps and the joy, is a beautiful thing.

35. “After I’ve lost 20 pounds, I’ll be happy with who I am.” on Elephant Journal.

36. 27 Stunning Works Of Art You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photographs on BuzzFeed.

37. Two more from Brain Pickings: Do It: 20 Years of Famous Artists’ Irreverent Instructions for Art Anyone Can Make and How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Presence Over Productivity.

38. The 32 Greatest Unscripted Movie Scenes.

39. 24 Grooms Blown Away By Their Beautiful Brides on BuzzFeed. *sob*

40. The Life’s Too Short Diet on Drop It and Eat, in which Lori F. Lieberman says “Don’t be fooled into believing that you’ll be happier if only you weighed a few pounds less, because it’s simply a moving target.”

41. This wisdom from Sakyong Mipham, “If humanity is to survive – and not only that, to flourish – we must be brave enough to find our wisdom and let it shine.”

42. A Mood from Jeff Oaks, in which he says “Breathe until the feeling of being buried brings the need to break open.” As I said in a comment I left on this post, “The way that you are able to almost hide something so profound in the relating of the details of your daily life is a particular kind of magic.”

43. 50 Things to Love about Life That Are Free on Tiny Buddha.

44. What’s Wrong with Me? from Curvy Yoga.

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.

Something Good

1. In honor of Memorial Day: Memorial Day: an open letter to our troops on the topic of bravery from Lisa Adams, and Shambhala Mountain Center is offering a special, extended weekend retreat for veterans and their families from August 1-4. “Outer War, Inner Peace will create a safe and intimate setting for discussions and a variety of mindfulness practices, including gentle and powerful healing work with horses. Scholarships are available.” Please share with anyone you think might benefit from this program.

2. New Hyperrealistic Sculptures by Ron Mueck on Bored Panda. So freaky.

3. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Clean & Save Green from Kris Carr.

4. Why it’s so hard to be good (and how to begin) from Sayta on Writing Our Way Home. This one really has me thinking.

5. 26 Steps to Living a Life You Love from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

6. Oklahoma Tornado Survivor Finds Missing Dog During Live Interview.
Instead of reading about all the scary, sad, terrible things, I watched this video.

7. The Obstacle is the Path on Zen Habits. I know this, but sometimes I forget. It’s good to be reminded.

8. Simplify Your Life and Quiet Your Mind on The Spin Cycle and Your Definitive Summer Slow Down Guide on Be More With Less. Courtney Carver’s posts end up on this list almost every week. Maybe I should just put a permanent list item that says “Read Be More with Less.” She’s also doing a Charity:Water campaign for her birthday, because she’s awesome.

9. “Fortunately, it is not required for happiness.” 7 words to re-focus your mind on what matters. from Alexandra Franzen. Same here — maybe you should just take it for granted that I will be telling you every week to read something Alexandra has written, consider it a standing order?

10. Indie Kindred Trailer, a documentary by Jen Lee. Can’t wait to see it.

11. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh: your daily rock : be selfish sometimes and your daily rock : trust yourself.

12. Luke’s Barely Habitable, a video tour of a 78-square-foot live/work apartment in Manhattan. He pays the same amount for rent as my mortgage on an 1100 square foot house. Every video like this inspires me to downsize, start getting rid of stuff, get clear about what I really need.

13. 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, a set of gorgeous pictures.

14. This wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

Whether one believes in a religion
or not, and whether one believes
in rebirth or not, there isn’t
anyone who doesn’t appreciate
kindness and compassion.

We are all the same — we just want to be happy and safe.

15. Super Summer Challange on Back to Her Roots. This would be super fun and of benefit, if I weren’t already doing one million other things, (yes, I said one million).

16. From Couch Potato to One of the World’s Fittest Menon Forks Over Knives — also very inspiring but probably not something I’m going to do this summer.

17. lisa congdon : THink — a glimpse into the studio + creative world of the artist from Woodnote Photography. I love Lisa Congdon, her art and her story, and love to hear the stories behind people’s tattoos, so this interview is a win/win.

18. My diet secret…The ONLY diet you will ever need! from Kute Blackson. If you have body or food issues, if you struggle, you have got to read this post, watch the video. What Kute has to say here is spot on, and he delivers his message with a huge smile and a ton of energy. Watch it. I’m not kidding. You can thank me later.

19. Creative Living with Jamie: Eric Maisel, Jamie’s weekly podcast interview with a creative person. I mention it this week for a special reason — that Jill she refers to at the very end is ME! But seriously, if you are a creative type, do yourself a favor and take a look at her podcast archive.

20. Convos with my 2-Year-Old, Episode OneI have it on good authority that this video is pretty accurate, not just of this guy’s 2 year old, but of kids in general.

21. roots, on Doorways Traveler, where Lisa Field-Elliot shares this poem,

Allow, by Dana Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

22. This wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut,

Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

Which is good news, because apparently, according to this comic, I am an artist.

you-might-be-an-artist-if-640

23. Fear & Loathing on Facebookfrom Real Mom Nutrition.

24. How buying a pair of mom pants led to an epiphany from Wellness by Design. All I have to say in response to this is amen, and thank you.

25. Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe unlocked and on display after nearly 60 years.

26. When she comes home from a long day at school, having a bad day, been told off or sad… She cuddles her best friend. This was on Reddit, and I’m totally in love with it. It makes me wish my dogs were a tiny bit bigger.

girlandbestfriend

27. From Your Inner Pilot Light,

When you notice a sensation or symptom in your body, that’s me talking to you, my love. You know that, right? Sometimes you can be a wee bit stubborn. Sometimes you don’t listen when I whisper. Sometimes I have to get scrappy and start bellowing at you in ways I know will catch your attention. Don’t make me yell, my love.

28. Here’s How Austin Kleon Writes on Copy Blogger. At one point, Austin shares this John Cleese quote, “Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating.”

29. Busy Philipps on The Conversation talking about body image.

30. Cabin Porn, shared by SF Girl by Bay. I could get really lost in this site.

31. Freebie | Ephemera from Goodnight Little Spoon, shared by Pugly Pixel.

32. 22 Ways To Get Your Vegan Snack Attack On from oh she glows, shared by Patti Digh on her Thinking Thursday list.

33. Avocado Frozen Yogurt recipe, shared by Kind Over Matter.

34. 70 Cutie Baby Animals Bring You a Good Mood, shared by Positively Present.

35. How to Dance Properly, shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend post. Oh my, this brings back memories and brought up lots of laughs.

36. Shared by Tammy on her Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: Three Essential Elements of Personal Power on Always Well Within (I found this super interesting because what she’s describing is what I would call basic goodness), Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers on Brain Pickings, and My writing practise on Beautiful Again.

37. 21 Love Lessons They Didn’t Teach You in School from Rebelle Society.

38. 10 Best Cases of On Air Giggles from Hello Giggles.