Tag Archives: The Goodlife Project

Something Good

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1. Ronen Goldman has been recreating his dreams in photos for the past six years. Some weird dreams that made for amazing photographs.

2. The Self-Acceptance Project: Finding Our Sense of Fundamental Worthiness, a free 20-week Video Event Series from Sounds True, beginning Monday, March 4, 2013. There are an amazing group of teachers involved with this, and did I mention, it’s free?

3. From Justine Musk, creative badass, “those who tell the stories, rule the world.”

4. This quote from Seth Godin, “It’s not what you’ve got. It’s about how brave you’re prepared to be.”

5. “Dear Internet” by Tina Fey. Just one more reason to love her.

6. This quote, “The most solid advice . . . for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” ~ William Saroyan

7. This quote from Geneen Roth, “Huge and lasting transformation is possible but it isn’t about striving to be different than you are. True change is allowing yourself to be exactly what and who you are—and becoming aware of what’s standing in your way.” And this one:

You can do it. You can rescue yourself. No matter what you believe about your competence or your worth, no matter if you weight 400 pounds on the scale or in your mind, you can change. You can become every courageous inch of yourself. But you have to act. You have to make an effort. You have to find a path or practice that knocks at the door of your heart, and then you have to do it. Keep doing it even if you don’t feel like it on an particular day. If you do nothing, nothing will change. If you act, if you make an effort, then little by little, bite by bite, morning after morning, you become the promise of yourself.

8. When Love Wins on Kind Over Matter by Jo Anna Rothman.

9. This quote from Pema Chödrön:

The Beginning of Growing Up: Opening to the world begins to benefit ourselves and others simultaneously. The more we relate with others, the more quickly we discover where we’re blocked. Seeing this is helpful, but it’s also painful. Sometimes we use it as ammunition against ourselves: we aren’t kind, we aren’t honest, we aren’t brave, and we might as well give up right now. But when we apply the instruction to be soft and nonjudgmental to whatever we see at this very moment, the embarrassing reflection in the mirror becomes our friend. We soften further and lighten up more, because we know it’s the only way we can continue to work with others and be of any benefit in the world. This is the beginning of growing up.

10. This quote, “The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment.” J. Krishnamurti

11. This quote, “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.” Don Miguel Ruiz

12. This quote from Cyndi Lee:

When we really see, in our mind’s eye, a person we think we don’t like, and instead of solidifying our reasons for hatred we honestly wish them happiness, good health, safety, and an easeful life, we start to forget what we thought we hated and why we felt that way in the first place. A sense of equanimity toward everyone arises as we do this practice—we feel compassion for those who were once invisible to us, and our disregard and apathy morph into concern for their well-being and safety.

13. This quote from Tama J. Kieves, “The more you do what you love, the more you realize your direction. It’s like remembering night-dreams, the more you write them down, the more you remember. The truth is always present. You just have to honor your inspiration before you have clarification. Doing what you love will make everything clear.”

14. This quote, “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.” ~Thomas Merton

15. Go Public With Your Bad Self?, a perfectly timed (for me) and true post by Jonathan Fields, which also includes an inspiring Good Life Project interview with artist Lisa Congdon, who I’ve always liked and admired but am officially obsessed with after seeing this interview. I’m especially in love with her 365 Days of Hand Lettering project. Jonathan says in this post,

We all suck in the beginning. We’re SUPPOSED to suck (with the rare exception of that freakish apriori artist savant friend we all love to hate to love).

The thing that gets us from there to “Sweet Mother of God, YOU made that?!” is practice. Beginner’s mind. Being massively prolific, even if what we create on any given day is really, really bad. That, and having the vision of where we want to get to, the will to do the work, the faith that our efforts will yield progress and the sense of humor needed to forgive ourselves and be vulnerable along the way….

16. From my teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “We Need to be Warrriors,” in which he says,

Bravery is the key instruction in the Shambhala teachings. This is why these teachings use the image of a warrior: when confronted by great challenges, warriors rise to the occasion. When cowards are confronted by difficulties, they withdraw. The challenge of being brave points to one specific instruction—that we stop cowering from our basic goodness.

To be brave is to actualize our nature as an offering to others. In paying attention to the details of our daily lives in relation to each other and the environment, we proclaim our worthiness to be alive and to inhabit this planet. We empower our relationships with presence and appreciation, because when we see the goodness in ourselves, we recognize it in others. This form of warriorship builds and creates; it does not destroy. Being brave enough to fully embrace our humanity is how we will accomplish good things.

17. This quote from George Lois, “The joy of the creative process, minute by minute, hour after hour, day by day, is the sublime path to true happiness.”

18. Home, on Doorways Traveler by Lisa Field-Elliot. This:

i believe that light prevails. that even though each and every one of us will wind up in the most senseless of dramas where the smallest parts of our brains, and the arrested parts of our hearts, will make decisions that wound and hurt, i still have to believe that light will prevail.

Amen.

19. Love Will Find You Out by Jen Lemen. I’ve read it before, but she reshared the link this week, and I read it with fresh eyes, an open heart. It is so beautiful, and made me cry just as hard this time as it did the first.

20. 108 yoga images from 2012: through the lens and from the soul of Robert Sturman. I look exactly like this when I practice yoga. Wait…why are you laughing?!

21. “To realize your true nature, you must wait for the right moment and the right conditions. When the time comes, you are awakened as if from a dream. You understand that what you have found is your own and doesn’t come from anywhere outside.” Buddhist Sutra

22. Deep Soul Dive Episode #1: Andrea Scher of Superhero Life, an interview with Maggie Hollinbeck.

23. Singer-Songwriter Aimee Mann on Rejecting the Life of a Pop Star, an interview on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn. I realized listening to this that I have been in love with Aimee Mann for almost 30 years. This is where it started, back in the tender wonder years, with Til ‘Tuesday:

24. Sherwood Anderson on Art and Life: A Letter of Advice to His Teenage Son, 1927 on Brain Pickings.

25. The Underground New York Public Library is a visual library featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways.

26. This quote, “All that you are seeking is also seeking you. If you sit still, it will find you. It has been waiting for you a long time.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

27. A good reminder from my Inner Pilot Light:

Feeling overwhelmed? Try taking steps to simplify your life today. Do you really need that long to-do list? Or can you cross stuff off and just accept that it’s not going to get done, at least not today? Do you really need all that stuff in your closet? Or can you sort through it and make room for spaciousness and expansiveness? Do you really need that crowded social calendar? Or can you just pare down to the activities that really nourish your soul? Must you really say yes to what others ask of you? Or can you give yourself the gift of NO? When you simplify your life, you make room for more of ME. And when you let me in, magic starts happening.

28. Magical (and giveaway!), a good review of a book that I clearly need to read on Walking on My Hands. This single line makes me want to read the whole book, “As Katrina begins her month of yoga teacher training at Kripalu, her teacher tells her, ‘You are not here to remake yourself but to remember yourself.’ ”

29. 15 Bloggers to Watch in 2013, (12 are women–right on!).

30. And by now I am sure you are wondering “what’s up with all the quotes on this list?!” but here’s one last one, from Cheri Huber:

How do we end suffering?  By accepting everything, exactly as it is. Hearing that is like a knife in the heart.  Inside we shriek, no! That is the shriek of the ego devoted to suffering.  In fact, there is no choice other than accepting everything exactly as it is, because everything is exactly as it is.  It is as simple as that.  There is nowhere else to go.

We aren’t blind, we just have our eyes closed

We celebrated Christmas yesterday. The best present for me was that Dexter was here with us, having another good day. We hadn’t expected that, hadn’t even wished for it because it seemed so impossible. On Christmas Eve, he slept in bed with me almost the whole night, curled up and warm right next to me, something he rarely ever does anymore. In these moments, I remind myself that this time is short, to surrender to it, to sink into the space I have left with him.

In the same way that having Dexter here but at the same time still dying, Christmas is always a mix of happy and sad for me. I love Colorado and my little family here, but I am also homesick, nostalgic for that other home, that other family, remembering so many Christmas’s past spent at the Farm, the laughter, the good company, and the food. I don’t mind telling you, I miss my mommy. Christmas music and twinkly lights are just as likely to make me feel joy as they are sorrow. For example, this song from A Charlie Brown Christmas makes me tear up every time.

A friend and I were talking the other day about issues we both have with perfectionism, feeling unworthy and thinking we need to earn love, permission, rest, self-care. At the end of our conversation, she said “well, how are we going to help each other with this? we are like the blind leading the blind.” I responded “we aren’t blind, we just have our eyes closed.”

I find this oddly hopeful, comforting, that once there’s even a slight shift in awareness, once I understand that this isn’t permanent or fixed and therefore choosing another option is always possible, I can open my eyes, things can and will shift.

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Today is the first day of a seven day retreat for me, the final week of a year of retreat, (my guiding word, my intention for 2012). When I told Eric that’s what I was doing, he asked what that meant exactly. I said I’d be meditating, reading and writing, but not much of anything else, and his response was “how’s that different from any other time?”

I was telling that same friend that I mentioned before about this week of retreat, all the contemplating, reverbing, inward looking, unravelling, and reset.revive.restart.-ing I was planning, and she said “I think maybe you need someone to tell you, you are doing too much.” I’ve been telling myself that for months, asking “how are you going to keep this up?” to which I typically have answered, “shhh, I’m working.”
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As far back as late 2011, I was trying to figure this out, wrote about it in Turn the F*ckin Faucet On! and Pace Yourself, about how much I wanted, but how I also realized “There’s just not room for all of it, at least not in this space and time continuum.  I am greedy, taking on more than I can possibly do, but there is just so much I want.” I went on to say “Don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that I shouldn’t dream so big.  Obviously, I believe in that.  Dreaming and wishing and opening myself up to new possibilities and different options is propelling me after years of being stuck.  What I am saying is that I need to ‘pace myself.’ ” I’m not quite there yet, kind and gentle reader, but I keep trying.

lastretreat02As I write this, I have about 40 pages of reading and prompts, along with two books sitting next to me–the “plan” for this retreat. Some of the prompts I’ve already answered in other ways–what I accomplished this year, what kind of relationship I had with my body. This was the plan, but instead I found myself allowing the day to unfold naturally. Instead of the plan, I: slept in a bit (Sam joined me after he had breakfast), played with Dexter and one of his Little D babies, wrote and drank half a cup of coffee while snuggled in my purple fleece robe, went to a yoga class, worked out with my trainer, took a hot shower, cleaned my shrine, ate a bowl of apple pie oatmeal while I watched an episode of the Good Life Project, took a nap, talked to my brother on the phone, meditated, walked the dogs, played with Sam in the backyard, looked up at the sky, ate a big salad and a cookie.

Maybe this retreat isn’t about having a plan after all, isn’t about doing or accomplishing anything. Maybe it’s about a rest, a reset, finding a workable rhythm, experiencing both the joy and the grief, maybe it’s about not being in such a hurry to get somewhere, but rather relaxing, surrendering and sinking into being here.

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Something Good

1. Begin Here by Maya Stein on Bentlily.

2. Brene’ Brown on The Power of Being Vulnerable on the Goodlife Project.

3. Allison Mae Photography. Beautiful.

4. This quote from Tara Brach: “No matter how much we meditate or pray, we still need others to help us dismantle the walls of our isolation and remind us of our belonging.”

5. Also from Tara Brach, Meditating Daily…”No Matter What” on the Elephant Journal.

6. Women Heal: an online alliance, another beautiful offering from Christa Gallopoulos.

7. Dealing with Exhaustion: Part 2 — Insist on Solitude on Life After Tampons.

8. This from the Daily Flame:

You may not see us or feel us, but I want you to know that, in this moment and always, you are completely supported. Your tribe is here, wrapping you in loving arms and lifting you up. The Universe is here, holding you, guiding you, and sending you signs so you don’t lose your way. I am here, whispering the truth, reflecting back your beauty and brilliance, always aligned and never betraying you. You are not alone. Capiche?

9. This Daily Truth from the Brave Girls Club:

Dear Unmatchable Girl,

Today it is time for you to be kind. To you. Just try, sweet friend, just try. You are the only one who knows the parts of you that need kindness the most, and for this reason, only you can provide this kind of deep kindness that you so need.

So today, please just try to be kind to the weak parts of yourself. Be kind to your addictions and your frailties, your mistakes and all of your human parts. Rather than treating these parts of yourself with hatred and disgust, please just take hands with these parts and say, “I am with you, we will make it through this.”

There are these kinds of parts to ALL of us. These parts are lonely, scared and act out in ways that make us sometimes feel ashamed. BUT, they ARE parts of us, and what if we just TRY to treat them with kindness, to put our arms around these parts of ourselves and let them know that no matter what, we will work hard to BE with these parts and teach them with love and truth. Just try, sweetest girl — just try. BE KIND to ALL of you. Let her know that it’s gonna be ok, that you are gonna love her no matter what as she works through all of this.

It will be worth it.
You are so deeply loved.
xoxo

10. You’re The One on the Daily Breadcrumb. Sunni Chapman is one of the most brilliant and wise women out there.

11. Settling In on Soule Mama. I think if I were a mom, this blog might make me feel bad, but I’m not, and it makes me feel so happy. I want this family to adopt me.

12. Unexpected Guests: Kim Fisher Designs on SF Girl by Bay. This cottage is where I live in my dreams. I want to go to there. Or here.

13. What I Know About Weight from the brilliant Rachel Cole.

14. Book Review: A Field Guide to Now on Scoutie Girl. This book is on my nightstand, and I am slowly reading it, savoring it. Christine Rosalie‘s work, her writing, blog, design, and art, are all gorgeous.

15. “What matters is the work”: 25 lessons for creatives in Patti Smith’s Just Kids.

16. Half the Sky Movement. I want to read this book, see the film, help the cause.

17. Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing on Brain Pickings. Margaret Atwood is my favorite author, and I love this particular picture of her almost as much as I love the list of rules.

18. Transitioning on What We Create. Eydie is one of my kind and gentle readers, and this poem and post sums up exactly what I’ve been feeling and thinking this season. She ends it by saying:

Autumn is the season of harvest, of letting go, of decluttering, and clearing…It’s about holding onto only what is essential. Nature is signaling that it’s time to let go of the things, thoughts, patterns and behaviors that weigh us down and diminish our light. As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground, we are reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go.

19. Tig Notaro is my new hero. She is funny and so strong, a real badass. Here’s an interview she did on Conan. If you want to buy a copy of the show she references, you can find it here. I downloaded it this morning, and it’s heartbreaking and beautiful and, believe it or not, funny. She was also on this weekend’s This American Life episode.

20. This quote from the Dalai Lama:

Education is the proper way to promote compassion and tolerance in society. Compassion and peace of mind bring a sense of confidence that reduce stress and anxiety, whereas anger and hatred come from frustration and undermine our sense of trust. Because of ignorance, many of our problems are our own creation. Education, however, is the instrument that increases our ability to employ our own intelligence.