Tag Archives: The Positivity Blog

Something Good

Every year, just after Thanksgiving, someone sneaks into the park where we walk our dogs and decorates three trees that stand next to the trail. This is the Charlie Brown one.

Every year, just after Thanksgiving, someone sneaks into the park where we walk our dogs and decorates three trees that stand next to the trail. This is the little Charlie Brown one.

1. Creative Living with Jamie has been named one of the Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepeneurs by Entrepreneur magazine! It’s really good. One of my favorite moments from the past year is when she interviewed me.

2. “It’s not about “giving up” control…”, wisdom from Isabel Foxen Duke.

3. Good stuff from Bored Panda: I Draw Pet Illustrations Based On Their Personalities, and This 5-Year-Old Girl Sneaked A Baby Cow Into Her Home To Cuddle With It, and 24+ Beautiful Ice And Snow Formations That Look Like Art.

4. True Stories Series: Maya Stein on 27 Powers.

5. Dear Woman on the Cusp from Rachel Cole. Her new offering, Feast, is so perfect for me that it feels like she created it just for me, but luckily for you, you can come along too if you’d like.

6. Life Was Perfect When Her Son Was Born. 14 Weeks Later, Everything Changed, on the importance of gratitude.

7. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook. And also from Liz, Karaoke wisdom.

8. Truthbomb #680 from Danielle LaPorte, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

9. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

We ache and bleed and suffer when we wish things were different than they are…and we don’t even realize that the thing that is really keeping us from healing is that we are simply not accepting things as they are, but we are still wishing things had happened differently, or not happened at all.

And this,

You will come across things in your life that just feel wrong, things that make you feel heavy or confused or wobbly or sideways. Something deep inside you will feel unsettled and you will know that you want to move away from that thing or that situation or even that person … Be willing to walk away from things that feel wrong.

10. A Note from the Universe, (I want to believe this so badly…)

Jill, if, way down deep, you can even slightly comprehend that time is an illusion and that space is just a stage, then it shouldn’t take much of a leap to realize how safe you are, how much magic there is, and most importantly, that there must exist a super-consciousness with wishes and dreams all its own, that include you.

11. Wisdom from Geneen Roth:

Ask yourself if what you are telling yourself is true. Is it true that your body is ugly? Don’t answer so fast! (I heard you!) Ask yourself to what and whom you are comparing yourself? To a younger version of yourself? To a 20-year-old or an actress who works out three hours a day? Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given, the place where love and joy and grief happen, where happiness unfolds. Do you really want to keep believing that it’s a horrible, ugly, lumpy thing? Do you really want to keep punching yourself like that? (Call me psychic, but I have a feeling that the answer is no.)

When you stop telling yourself stories about your body, about your eating, about your life, you stop having to eat to fix how awful you feel because you stop feeling awful. Then and only then can you actually figure out what is really true. What you really want. What you really feel. What you really believe.

Ask yourself what would happen if you stopped the incessant chatter about how lumpy or stretchy or ugly your body is. What would happen if, instead, you thanked your body for taking you this far. For schlepping packages and bearing children and making love. Then listen to it carefully to see what it needs.

12. The myth of finding your purpose, from Kris Carr. It’s an older post but one of the most important, still.

13. 50 Lessons From A Decade of Blogging from Leonie Dawson.

14. Let’s make some magic in 2015! Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead 2015 workbook (FREE), one of the practices I gift myself during this busy time of year. She’s also offering a FREE 5-day email class to help you figure out your word for 2015, Find Your Word.

15. This Blog is Going to Embarrass my Husband.

16. 5 Tips For Being An Ally from Chescaleigh.

17. The Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision and We Can’t Breathe from The Daily Show.

18. Wisdom from Ethan Nichtern,

It was wonderful to be among many thousands at the rally last night, even under such brutal and tragic circumstance. Right now it feels like my practice is all about awareness: increasing my own awareness of the people in this world who I habitually ignore or fail to see. We each have massive blind spots, and the first step in transformation is accepting that we live in a world where so many people remain unseen and unheard, and simply developing the courage to look. May all people feel seen, heard, and valued.

19. Anne Lamott discusses grief and forgiveness in Small Victories on Booktrib.

20. this was a good week? from Chookooloonks.

21. Little Humans Reading Little Humans.

21. Pine Ridge Holiday Project. “There is still time to provide a little holiday cheer to the people of Pine Ridge. We have plenty of names of elementary and junior high aged children. You can also send donations for firewood to be delivered to families and elders to help keep them warm and toasty. Please email forpineridge@gmail.com and let me know if you prefer to provide simple gifts for children or if you would like to make a donation for firewood. Thank you for your kindness and generosity! Chris and Julie.”

22. In related news: “Please consider donating $110.00 for a cord of fire wood for a family on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It is already freezing up there. A small group of Lakota gentlemen cut, deliver and stack the wood…so this provides income for the wood cutters as well as warmth for a family. Here is the link to Village Earth to donate firewood (tax deductible).”

23. 10 Habits of Happy, Healthy Couples from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

24. How to Change Your Life in Just 2 Minutes a Day: 10 Quick Habits from the Positivity Blog.

25. 5 Questions to Simplify Your Life During the Holidays from Zen Habits. Why limit it to the holidays? We should be asking ourselves these questions all year, the rest of our lives.

26. The Last 5 Most Frustrating Things about Simplicity from Be More with Less.

27. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Most Questions Can Be Boiled Down To (this brilliant image is from this post), and Interview with Reading Lives, and Video of my Show Your Work! chalktalk, and a link he shared to this amazing quote, Murdering A Book.

28. Six Causes of Procrastination And How to Overcome Them on Life is Limitless.

29. Shared on Positively Present Picks: 36 Prompts to Help You Plan an Awesome 2015.

30. A Lesbian Takes Her Niece To Meet A Princess, Is Mistaken For Her Dad, And…, another great TEDX Boulder talk from Ash Beckham.

31. Why Fat-Shaming By Doctors Really, Really Matters from xojane. Reading through the tweets tagged #diagnosisfat makes me so angry, so sad.

32. This Toddler’s Killer Dubstep Dance Moves Will Even Blow Skrillex Away. I am so in love with this little guy.

33. What’s next?, a set of really great prompts from Seth Godin.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric, American Lakes trail

1. Wisdom from Ishita Gupta, “Every woman in the world knows what she needs in the moment. Whether or not she gives it to herself is the question.”

2. Yoga meets art — create a life you love, on Rebelle Society. I must be tender from my weekend of yoga teacher training because this made me cry. Another good one from Rebelle Society is 13 Awesome Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People, which gives one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read of ME.

3. A Map of the Introvert’s Heart by an Introvert on Medium. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t understand me, this might help.

4. Wisdom from Mary Oliver, because every once in a while I need the reminder,

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

5. Wisdom from Krishna Das,

We constantly limit ourselves with our emotions and our desires and our stories. When we identify with that stuff, we don’t experience what’s underneath it. The only way to move deeper into your own heart is by doing some kind of spiritual practice, regularly, over time. That’s what helps us experience real love and gives us the strength to manifest changes in our lives.

6. Fiercely Being from Jonathan Fields. This one is important. If you don’t click any other link on this week’s list, please follow and read this one. And just in case you are going to ignore my plea, here’s the line where I tear up and put my hand over my heart each time I read it because the beauty and truth are so clear it almost breaks my heart, “What if your metric was…’Do things that light you up with people who light you up for people you love to serve.‘”

7. You Are Not Late, by Kevin Kelly on Medium, (thanks to Austin Kleon for sharing the link in his newsletter).

8. the lively show: radical sincerity & mental health advocacy with esmé weijun wang, (originally shared by Pugly Pixel).

9. Alone in the Wilderness, a documentary that “tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park…covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness.” We got this from the library a few times and loved it. Someone has now made the full film available on YouTube.

10. Good stuff from Seth Godin: This is ours and The easy ride.

11. Why scales make you binge-eat from Isabel Foxen Duke.

12. I love Lisa Congdon’s Words for the Day. These are some of recent my favorites: No. 22, No. 23, and No. 30. And also from Lisa, a beautiful post about marriage, On Marriage :: A Year Later.

13. Good stuff from Jeff Oaks: Habit and Nothing.

14. What Makes You Feel Free? by Saundra Goldman, (link shared by Stephanie).

15. A Bank Uses Its ‘ATMs’ To Say Thanks To Regular Customers In The Most Personalized and Heartfelt Way. Hint: It wasn’t Bank of America.

16. Be Full of Yourself, from Julie Daley.

17. Choose love, and have it be that simple from Sandi Amorim.

18. Rekindle Your Love for Simplicity from Be More With Less.

19. 31 Benefits of Free-Writing from Cynthia Morris.

20. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Only seek to be more of yourself.”

21. Wisdom from “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers),” shared by Sandi Amorim,

This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

22. African cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time.

23. Urban Jewelry: Lace Street Art by NeSpoon shared on This is Colossal.

24. 10 Ways to Recognize Orthorexia on New York Magazine.

25. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, (read the full piece here),

Bodhichitta exists on two levels. First there is unconditional bodhichitta, an immediate experience that is refreshingly free of concept, opinion, and our usual all-caught-upness. It’s something hugely good that we are not able to pin down even slightly, like knowing at gut level that there’s absolutely nothing to lose. Second there is relative bodhichitta, our ability to keep our hearts and minds open to suffering without shutting down.

Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors — not warriors who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic undistorted energy of bodhichitta. We have many examples of master warriors — people like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King — who recognized that the greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds. They devoted their lives to helping others understand this truth. There are also many ordinary people who spend their lives training in opening their hearts and minds in order to help others do the same. Like them, we could learn to relate to ourselves and our world as warriors. We could train in awakening our courage and love.

26. I took this quiz, Which Jung Archetype Best Describes You? and got “The Caregiver.”

Jung identified this archetype in many goddesses and female role models throughout history. You’re the mother figure: the selfless caregiver and helper. Everyone comes to you for advice. You truly love others as yourself and your greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. You manifest compassion and generosity. A Jungian psychologist would tell you to be careful not to be taken advantage of and never let yourself play the martyr.

27. Lacy M. Johnson on The Art of Mourning, on Essay Daily.

28. A young man asks a homeless man to borrow his bucket, what happens next will burst you into tears.

29. I think I fucked this up from The Bloggess.

30. Be Your Own Guru, a Good Life Project Jam Session, another really good thing from Jonathan Fields.

31. Courageous Company with Anna Guest-Jelley: Why Wearing a T-Shirt Might Have Changed My Life.

32. 10 Smarter and Less Stressful Ways to Get Your Daily Work Done on the Positivity Blog.

33. 16 Of The Most Magnificent Trees In The World on Bored Panda.

34. Good stuff from Zen Habits: Inhabit the Moment and How to Master the Art of Living.

35. Doing everything wrong: Shame, truth-telling, and writing it out on Visible and Real. This line especially, “And if I am not Worthy, I move in one of two directions: Complete Shutdown or Overperforming. {Either end of this pendulum is exhausting.}” Word.

36. One of my favorite projects is Humans of New York. Brandon has a new book coming out. He says about it,

Little Humans is coming out in almost two months, and the first hardcopy has just arrived! It is awesome. Your child is guaranteed to giggle, point, and cheer. And if test readings are any indication, there is a 38.53% chance you will cry. It comes out October 7th — very excited about it.

37. Note from the Universe,

The absolute, most sure-fire way of physically moving in the direction of your dreams, Jill, on a day-to-day basis, without messing with the “cursed hows,” is living them, now, to any degree that you can.

38. Really good stuff from Medium: After (one of the best things I’ve ever read about the loss of a pet), and My Cousin is Not a Hero.

39. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook.

40. Dealing with anger before it deals with you from Paul Jarvis.

41. A Blessing from Ronna Detrick,

When you have questions, look to love. When you have doubts, turn toward love. When you wonder about next steps, let love be the deciding factor. And when you fear how it will all work out, trust in love.

I know it feels fearful to risk (and love) in these ways. I know you long for the certainty that the love you give will offer you the same in return. And I know that without guarantees, without promises, and without thought for your own safety, you will love anyway. It’s who you are. It’s what you do. And it’s the story for which you are known and named.

Speak. Risk. Stand. And love and love and love.

Something Good

1. Good stuff from Kat McNally: August Moon 13 and The push and pull of grateful.

2. Japanese Photographer Takes Cutest Pictures of His 4-year-old Daughter on Bored Panda.

3. How to talk to someone who’s grieving on Salon.

4. Wisdom from a Facebook post written by Elizabeth Gilbert, “I’ll tell you one of the really good things about getting older: Slowly, you start to work out a comprehension of your own inherent madness.”

5. Enough is Enough by Diane Clement.

6. 15 Ways to Spread Kindness in Your World Today on The Positivity Blog.

7. Grief Intelligence: A Primer on Huffington Post.

8. Not Knowing What to Say on Gluten Free Girl.

9. Need a totally profesh-sounding bio? Like, right now? A Mad Libs-style template for anyone, ever. from Alexandra Franzen.

10. I Believe An Introduction Is In Order. on Blog con Queso. There is almost nothing cuter than a boy and his dog, (unless it’s a girl and her dog).

11. Insights at the Edge, Sounds True interview, Tara Brach: Radical Acceptance.

12. Wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut, shared by Elizabeth on the Squam blog,

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.

13. 20 Hilarious Cooking Fails That Will Make You Feel Like an Iron Chef on Bored Panda.

14. 21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed. I might have posted this before, but it is worth repeating.

15. C.O.G. – Official Trailer, this autobiographical comedy is the first-ever screen adaptation of the work of acclaimed writer David Sedaris and I can’t wait to see it.

16. How To Make Anyone (And Everyone) Want You on Mind Body Green.

17. The Most Honest And Heartbreaking Reason To Leave Your Front Door Unlocked I’ve Ever Heard on Upworthy.

18. She allowed ~ Bella on She is Three.

19. Colbert Takes On Out-Mayor Johnny Cummings.

20. Voice Notes: Laura Simms, an interview with one of my favorite women on The Voice Bureau. I hadn’t realized that both Laura and I are INFJ, (there aren’t that many of us, only about 1% of the population).

21. isolation never looked so goodfrom SF Girl by Bay. Dreamy.

22. Cleaning: A Creative Practice? on Scoutie Girl.

23. Shake the Dust.

24. 5 Keys to An Engaging Online Course on the Ruzuku blog.

25. 20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized and The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever from Twisted Sifter.

26. Recovering the Body, “Physical practices to foster recovery from addiction,” a new blog from Jennifer, the author of Guinevere Gets Sober, one of my favorite blogs, one of my favorite bloggers.

27. 17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand on BuzzFeed.

28. Outside’s Best Towns 2013, Editor’s Choice: Fort Collins, Colorado. It is pretty great here.

29. Kid President is celebrating World Humanitarian Day!

30. More wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook,

We need you here NOW, as you are, which is almost certainly GOOD ENOUGH. Speak now. Act now. Try now. Raise your voice now. Throw your ideas into the ring now. Show somebody your work now. Ask for the promotion now. Present your questions and doubts and suggestions now.

31. Fear Project, from artist Julie M. Elman, “I illustrate people’s fears. Working with their words, I just try to visualize what those fears could possibly look like. I work quickly and post my pieces no matter how I feel about them. It’s a good way to get over any fears I have about the creative process.” Thanks to Jeff Oaks for sharing the link.

32. Wisdom from Seth Godin, “The Dummies mindset, the get-rich-quick long sales letters, the mechanistic, industrial processes aren’t on offer because they’re the best we can handle. No, they sell because they promise to reduce our fear.”

33. From Brave Girls Club,

Every day the sun comes up and every day the sun goes down. Every day we have an entire day to do the best we can do, and then we get to go to bed and be done with it. When we wake up every morning, we have the chance to start over with a sparkling brand new day. No blemishes, no stains, nothing . . . a brand new beautiful perfect day to make into whatever we choose. If we stumble and have a less than desirable day, or if we make mistakes, if we do things we are not proud of . . .

. . . we get to start over the next day.

Let each day go and be done with it. TODAY is your day. TODAY is THE day, the very most important day of your life right now. Let yesterday go and start over fresh.

34. 32 Books That Will Actually Change Your Life, according to BuzzFeed.

35. 5 Ways to Wake Up on Elephant Journal.

36. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

37. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

Sometimes we don’t act because our souls know it’s not the right time or right thing. It’s not that we’re lazy. It’s that we’re fiercely guided. Fear tries to push us. Love will wait until we’re ready — because only our readiness makes it the right time.

38. Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Biggest Self-Hater of All? on Elephant Journal. Miriam Hall is one of my favorite Elephant Journal contributors.

39. The Making of a 21st-Century Illuminated Manuscript: Inside Debbie Millman’s Creative Process on Brain Pickings.

40. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list, Chickpea Pesto Sandwich Recipe from Thug Kitchen.

41. Quite possibly the best video ever, OWN Original Shorts: Dogs/Meditation. The only problem with this video is that it’s not long enough.

Something Good (and a few confessions)

1. Radio Enso #73: Buddhist teacher and author Susan Piver. “In this in-depth and inspirational conversation, we’ll discuss meditation (what IS meditation?, misconceptions about it, etc.), Buddhism, dharma, The Open Heart Project, and Susan’s life journey from a young girl who was always seeking to her life as a teacher, author, and lifelong spiritual practitioner.”

2. How Change Can Save Your Life, from Positively Present. A really great discussion of change, which is inevitable. And, Mourning Sickness: 6 Steps for Coping with Loss, a beautiful contemplation on a brutal experience, in which she says,

Despite the sadness and pain, the true despair of losing a best friend, there is still beauty in life. The beauty of now doesn’t override from the pain of remembering what was, but it helps. Loss will never be painless, but we have some control over how much we suffer.

3. 10 Trust Habits to Support Your Next Scary Step, from Trust Tending with Kristin Noelle.

4. Marina Abramovic and Ulay.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

5. These Aren’t Your Average Snapshots: Bill Gekas’ Portraits of His Daughter as Classic Paintings.

6. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, a super interesting TED Talk. And Chuck Wendig’s response on Terrible Minds, The Art of Asking: For Writers and Storytellers.

7. The Art of Reframing Difficult Emotions, on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Losing Your Mind and Finding Your Self, Ed and Deb Shapiro on The Huffington Post.

9. The Young Girl Who’s Best Friends with African Wildlife. A really fun set of pictures.

Born in Africa to French wildlife photographer parents, Tippi Degré had a most unusual childhood. The young girl grew up in the African desert and developed an uncommon bond with many untamed animals including a 28-year old African elephant named Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, lion cubs, giraffes, an Ostrich, a mongoose, crocodiles, a baby zebra, a cheetah, giant bullfrogs, and even a snake. Africa was her home for many years and Tippi became friends with the ferocious animals and tribespeople of Namibia. As a young child, the French girl said, “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends.”

10. Meditation And Mourning: 3 Obstacles to Successful Grieving, by Lodro Rinzler on The Huffington Post.

11. This quote, so important: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa

12. Open Your Heart to Change the World, an older post from Susan Piver, but fundamental.

13. How I Got the Job and Lost Myself, from Liv Lane, (I confess, I sometimes feel this way about my paid work).

14. Ash Beckham at Ignite Boulder 20, a sane argument for not using the word “gay” as a pejorative, for acceptance rather than tolerance of gay people, (I confess, I love and accept gay people).

15. Book Porn: The 30 Best Places To Be If You Love Books(I confess, I am a bibliophile).

16. Flora Bowley post it notes, oh my, (I confess, I love post it notes).

17. She’s Worth It Fundraising Campaign. A more than worthy cause.

18. Pema Chödrön’s Three Bite Practice.

You can do this anytime you eat a meal. Before taking the first bite, just pause and think of those men and women of wisdom and mentally offer them your food. In this way, you connect with the virtue of devotion.

Before taking the second bite, pause and offer your food to all those who’ve been kind to you. This nurtures the virtues of gratitude and appreciation. The third bite is offered to those who are suffering: all the people and animals who are starving, or being tortured or neglected, without comfort or friends. Think, too, of all of us who suffer from aggression, craving, and indifference. This simple gesture awakens the virtue of compassion.

In this way—by relying on our teachers, our benefactors, and those in need—we gather the virtues of devotion, gratitude, and kindness.

19. When the Universe Has Been Listening All Along, a beautiful post from Christina Rosalie. Also from Christina, 35 Words, “A project with my friend Willow I are doing: 35 Words + an image every day for the year.”

20. The Burning HouseI knew about the book, but hadn’t heard of the blog until I read about it on SF Girl by Bay.

21. A quote from Goldie Hawn, “If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself,” (I confess, I can’t remember who originally shared this quote).

22. This quote from Barry Magid, (shared by Carry It Forward), “Happiness or enlightenment is not something that takes place in our brains. They are functions of a whole person living a whole life.”

23. And this quote from William Henry Channing, (shared by Patti Digh as a Daily Rock on 37 Days),

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.

24. Weight Loss and Recovery—Can they Coexist? Is Recovery Even Possible After So Long? I so appreciate Lori’s sane discussions of dis-ordered eating.

25. With Gratitude, Hope Growsa post about surrendering to the creative process, showing up and allowing what happens, written by Juliette Crane for Your Heart Makes a Difference.

26. Quote from Ram Daas,

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves, where we can look at all that is happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.

27. A really good question from Rumi, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” Why, indeed.

28. Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, a great post by Rita on This (Sorta) Old Life which shares this quote,

we can’t do it all. but we can all do something… the path is set before us and we only need take a little step each day. soon we will look back and be amazed at how far we’ve come. and we can do it without sacrificing those things that matter most in our life and our heart: the main thing. keep the main thing the main thing. (from Grace Uncommon via Leilani at Tales of a Clyde Woman)

29. This quote from the brilliant Geneen Roth,

When I realized I didn’t have to keep “paying” for my life in pounds of suffering, there was a shift. I realized that living wasn’t about deserving, but allowing. Allowing myself to have what I already had. And each of us has so much all the time…

If, today, you made a commitment to allow yourself to have what you already have instead of constantly having to prove that you are worth it in the many ways we strive to prove ourselves, what would you see? What would you know? Can you allow yourselves to have the safety, the love, the beauty, the breath that you already have? Will you give yourself that much–now?

30. A grieving mom’s advice to the rest of us: Love purely, and take it easy, a beautiful and heartbreaking post from Emily Rapp.

31. This song has been in my head, A Thousand Tiny Pieces, from The Be Good Tanyas.

32. soundtrack to your life | rachel cole, in which Sas Petherick interviews Rachel, (the reason that song has been in my head).

33. When Your Work Life is Destroying Your Good Life, on Be More With Less.

34. This song is also in my head, Ellie Goulding – Dead In The Water (Live At iTunes Festival 2012)

35. Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

36. You can’t do any better (but you can feel better), from Marianne Elliott.

37. How Mindfulness Can Help You Discover What You Want to Do in Life, on Tiny Buddha.

38. Lowering Your Standardsa Daily Rock on 37 Days.

39. Minimalism, a post on Smalltopia.

40. Eight years, by Susannah Conway, a post on grief, healing, and tattoos.

41. Daily Happiness: 9 Simple Ways to Find it in Your Life, a post on the Positivity Blog, originally shared on Positively Present.

42. A quote by Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

43. Approximately 3 Minutes Inside The Head of My 2 Year Old by Jason Good. Funny, and I might be a two year old.

44. Observe These Hands, My Dear. from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

I watched the dogs chase each other in the snow and heard the robins singing—a sure bellwether of spring—and the happiness welled up a little bit in me because I was right there, just doing the next thing, and it’s those moments I feel no need to change myself, Fix Myself, do anything to myself to make myself different so other people will be OK with me and my actions. Actually it wasn’t happiness, it was just contentment. The opposite of “discontent.”

“Content”—the word comes from the Latin for contain or to hold. In those moments I feel held, safe.

45. This quote from Julia Cameron, “I love to write. Which isn’t to say that it’s always easy.” Amen.

Something Good

1. Message from my Inner Pilot Light:

In case you forgot, my love, The Universe doesn’t need you to be in control. I swear. It’s handled. All is well. You can relax now. Stop wrangling your life like it’s an unruly animal. Life doesn’t have to be that hard. Instead, set goals but release attachment to outcomes. Trust the process. Let go of the handle. Surrender to the river of life. Watch for signs. Let yourself be guided. Know that everything is a gift, every crossroads is divinely placed in your path, and the way will be made apparent, if only you pay attention.

2. Wisdom Notes for a Well-Fed Holiday from Rachel Cole. I signed up because as I’ve said before I love everything Rachel does. Meeting her, working with her was a pivotal moment in my life, and she’s creating some especially powerful stuff right now.

3. This poem says everything you need to know.

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now.
~David Whyte

4. This quote from Wayne Dyer: “Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”

5. The Willingness to Think Differently from Leo Babauta on Zen Habits.

6. Child’s Own Studio. This one has made my list before, but it’s worth another mention. I was reminded of it this week when someone posted a link to the studio’s Flickr gallery.

7. Positively Present’s 30 day gratitude photo challenge. I’m not doing it, but I wish I had time to because it looks really fun.

8. The Power of the Pause by Courtney Carver on Be More With Less. She really is one of my favorite bloggers. I want to grow up to be just like her.

9. 3 Destructive Work Habits That Can Drain the Energy Right Out of You on the Positivity Blog. I am guilty of all three in my paid work, even sometimes in my heart’s work.

10. Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction. This is so cool. Just another reason why you should help me raise $1000 dollars for Charity:Water. These kids could save us, but first we might need to save them = clean drinking water.

11.This quote from Reggie Ray:

Because it is who we are, spirituality is not something that we need to seek outside of ourselves. In a way, it is not even something that we can gain or attain. Rather, it is the depth and subtlety of our person and of our experience that we gradually uncover. Religious traditions are usually necessary for providing an understanding of our inborn potential and for showing us how to realize it. But when they claim proprietary ownership of that which we seek, they betray themselves and get in our way.

12. All. In. This. Together. Sandy, The Elections, and Everything After. by Ethen Nichtern.

13. I told you last week how much I love the blog 3x3x365. This post, all three of the entries, is/are so beautiful, each in their own distinct way.

14. Three amazing women, generously and bravely sharing their stories: In Praise of Zoloft by Rachel Cole, On anxiety, panic attacks and being brave by Andrea Scher, and this is my anxiety story by Kelly Rae Roberts.

15. 12 Unconventional Habits of Highly Productive People on Marc and Angel Hack Life. I’m not sure if this is a very good title, or maybe it’s just me–even the word “productive” makes me tired. I almost didn’t read it, but it’s such a good list. #1 is Meditate.

16. finding beauty amidst disaster from Positively Present. She ends with a really good list of beautiful things you can do.

Something Good

1. Finding Peace with Uncertainty by Leo Babauta on Zen Habits. Yes, please.

2. Videos from World Domination Summit 2012. Brene’ Brown’s isn’t here, but the others are worth watching. This one in particular, Scott Harrison talking about Charity:Water and his own personal redemption story, changed me. I challenge any one to watch it and remain unchanged by it–or at the very least realize that you could be doing more. It is a powerful story, important work, and the best news is that you can help. I have committed to giving up my birthday this year, (more on that once I get my campaign site set up).

3. How to Have Your Own Simplicity Summit on Be More With Less. This is going on my to-do list. And, because Courtney Carver was being particularly badass last week, here’s another one: Why You Can’t Measure Self Worth by Net Worth.

4. This quote from Pema Chödrön:

For one day (or one day a week), refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or overworking or spending too much time texting or checking e-mails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you’ve been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.

5. Around Here from Ali Edwards. A really great post and writing prompt idea.

6. 7 Simple Habits for an Awesome Start to Your Day on The Positivity Blog.

7. For cuteness sake, Gorillas very curious about a caterpillar. I especially love when the silver back tells a smaller gorilla to back off and give the little guy some space.

8. This quote from the Dalai Lama:

In order to carry out a practice—such as constantly watching the mind—you should form a determination, make a pledge, right when you wake up: “Now, for the rest of this day, I will put into practice what I believe just as much as I can.” It is very important that, at the start of the day, we should set out to shape what will happen later. Then, at the end of every day, check what happened. Review the day. And if you carried through for that whole day your morning’s determination, then rejoice. Reinforce further your motivation to continue in the same line. However, when you do your reviewing, you may discover that you did things during the day that are contrary to your religious values and beliefs. You should then acknowledge this and cultivate a deep sense of remorse. Strengthen your resolve not to indulge in these actions in the future.

9. Dealing with Exhaustion–Step 1 from Jennifer Boykin on Life After Tampons. When I read this, “it’s really really discouraging to want to change your life, but have absolutely no energy to do it,” I wanted to cry, it felt so true. Jennifer goes on to say, “So, if you’re exhausted today, stop. Make it a game, make it a challenge to figure out the absolute LEAST you can get by with doing for the next 30-days, and then try to shave some stuff off of that list.” Sounds like a plan!

10. How to be soulful, online and off by Jen Lee on Roots of She. I am loving everything Jen Lee does lately.

11. Two messages I really needed to hear, one from The Universe and one from my Inner Pilot Light.

Dearest Jill,
That thing you’re clinging to… let it go.
Breathe in, breathe out, surrender.
Ahhhh….
Your Inner Pilot Light

There hasn’t been one single day of your life, Jill, when the world
hasn’t been made a better place by your presence in it.
Kudos,
The Universe

12. How to make space for quality to show up in your life from Danielle LaPorte, in which she says, “possibility requires space to unfold.”

13. This email I just got from Netflix streaming: “The Office (U.S.) Season 8 is now on Netflix.” I watched the BBC version first, but loved them both, in different ways and for different reasons. I like stuff that makes me laugh, without the comedy being too mean–too dependent on someone being made fun of or tricked or hurt. This is one of my favorite scenes from the U.S. version, and because of it, any time I trip or fall or do something similarly Lucille Ball, I say “parkour! parkour!”

14. Shit Liz Lemon Says. This completely made my week, (except for the fact that NBC is selfish and I can’t embed the video in this post). My favorite Lemon lines are “What the what?” and “I want to go to there.”

Something Good

this morning’s foggy walk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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